Statistics on the use of animals in research

Report on animal use in Norway from 2018 to 2021

Norecopa, in collaboration with the Swiss 3R Competence Centre, has conducted a preliminary analysis of Norway's official statistics for animal use during the four years of 2018 to 2021. The work was funded by the Research Fund of the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance (Dyrevernalliansen).
The Report may be downloaded here:

Report on animal use in Norway from 2018 to 2021

Champetier A. & Smith A. (2023): Research animal use in Norway from 2018 to 2021: A preliminary report with emphasis on severity and purpose. 26 pages. ISBN: 978-82-693192-0-0.

During the course of this work, an interactive online Sankey diagram was constructed. This can be used to display combinations of the year, animal species, their genetic status, the purpose for which they were used, and severity categories of the procedures:

Sankey diagram of animal use in Norway from 2018 to 2021

The main conclusions in the Report are:

  • There are no signs that the large number of animals used in Norway for research is starting to diminish.
  • The actual severity of animal uses in procedures is increasing.
  • Single large studies on fish continue to be the main factor affecting the national statistics.
  • Batch testing and other regulatory and quality control procedures are among the uses where severity is the highest for fish. There is no indication that the number of animals used for these purposes is diminishing.
  • There is very limited re-use of research animals in Norway.
  • The work of analysing the use of animals in Norway for scientific purposes should continue, to gain more insight into possibilities for further implementation of the Three Rs.

It will be possible to update the files created during this study with data from future years, making it easier to follow trends in animal use and to identify areas of particular concern.

EU Commission reports

Written reports from the EU are available here (the report for the most recent year, 2019, can be read here).
Collections of reports from the individual member states are available here.
Narratives and statistics for 2019 from the individual EU member states (including data from the United Kingdom for the last time following Brexit) are available here.

EU and Norwegian databases

In 2021 the EU Commission launched their ALURES Statistical EU Database, with statistics for the use of animals in research and testing in the EU and (from 2018) Norway. ALURES currently allows searches at the EU level, but from 2023 it will be possible to search through national figures as well.
In addition, the Commission has now launched the first version of its ALURES NTS Database, with Non-technical Project Summaries of approved projects for animal research and testing.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority's own database of summaries of approved applications for animal research and testing is available here.

Historical information

Until mid-2015, animal research in Norway was controlled by the Norwegian Animal Research Authority, NARA (Forsøksdyrutvalget, FDU), a section under the the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet). NARA published annual reports up to and including a report for 2013, which until recently were available on This webpage has been removed and at present there are few statistics available on the new Animal Research section of the Food Safety Authority's website. Norecopa has collected the annual reports from NARA (written in Norwegian only), see below.

Based upon figures from the Food Safety Authority

Norway's statistics:






For the first time, Norwegian statistics (for 2018) were included in the EU Commission's Report which was published in July 2021. This is a result of Norway's transposition of the EU Directive 2010/63. More information is available here.



2015 (page 93 in the annual report from the Food Safety Authority for 2016; see also their rapport for 2015)

2014 (no figures available according to page 40 in the annual report from the Food Safety Authority, but some figures are available in their report for 2016, page 93)


2012 (preliminary statistics only, no report written)












2000 (statistics only)

1999 (statistics only)

1998 (statistics only)

1997 (statistics only)

1996 (statistics only)

1995 (statistics only)

For comparison, figures from:

Summaries of animal experiments approved by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet).

Figuring it out: questions of comparison, culture and care in animal use statistics

A Summary of EU National Statistical Reports of Animal Experiments in 2014-2016 (Letter to the ALTEX journal, 36(2), 2019)

New European Statistics on Laboratory Animal Use - What Really Counts! (Busquet et al., 2020), an opinion piece on the EU statistics released in February 2020 for 2015-2017).

An Estimate of the Number of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes Worldwide in 2015 (Taylor & Alvarez, 2020)

This page was updated on 08 June 2023

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