Statistics on the use of animals in research

Please also see the Norwegian-language version of this page.

The Food Safety Authority's annual reports on animal use in research and testing

Report on animal use in Norway from 2018 to 2021

Norecopa, in collaboration with the Swiss 3R Competence Centre, has written a preliminary report on 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 use of animals in Norway for scientific purposes should be analysed, to gain more insight into possibilities for further implementation of the Three Rs.

Norecopa has added the statistics for 2022 to the files created for this report. Such updates will make it easier to follow future trends in animal use and to identify areas of particular concern.

EU databases

The databases produced by the EU are described on this page:

  • 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 as from the data for 2021 it will be soon (2024) be possible to search through national figures as well.
  • In addition, the Commission has launched its ALURES NTS Database, with Non-Technical Project Summaries (NTS) of approved projects.

Until the end of 2020, Member States were required to publish NTS at national level. For projects authorised after January 2021, NTS are published in the ALURES NTS Database.

EU Member State reports

Collections of historical reports from the individual member states are available here. These are soon to be included in the ALURES Statistical EU Database (see above).
A list of national websites hosting NTS published before 2020 is available on the EU website.

Norwegian database

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority's own database of summaries of approved applications for animal research and testing is available here.

Historical information about Norway

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:

Other references

Figuring it out: questions of comparison, culture and care in animal use statistics (opinion piece by Gail Davies, AnNex, c. 2014)

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 21 February 2024

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