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Animal Use Statistics: The New Zealand and Australian Experience and Perspective

A.C. David Bayvel

Both New Zealand and Australia have established systems for the collection, collation, analysis and publication of animal use statistics. In New Zealand, the collection of national data was first mandated in 1987, and has been continued by regulations made under the recently introduced Animal Welfare Act 1999. Initially, the information collected in New Zealand was of a very general nature. During the early 1990s, the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) played a key role, working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), to revise the information required to ensure that it was more meaningful and informative. This process of revision and refinement has been ongoing, with an independent research report being commissioned on behalf on both MAF and NAEAC in 2000. A number of specific issues currently receiving attention are referred to in this paper, along with more general issues arising from moving to more informative and transparent systems. The value of animal use statistics was addressed by a Senate Select Committee in Australia in 1989, when it was recommended that a summary of the animals used in teaching and research in each State and Territory be collated on a national basis. An initiative has been taken to achieve this objective, although delays have resulted from a number of legal, policy and logistical issues.