A LARGE sheep footrot vaccine trial drove a fourfold increase in the use of testing on domestic mammals, while fewer researchers are using fish, birds, laboratory mammals and reptiles in their experiments.
The animal research statistics Tasmania annual report shows almost 100,000 animals were used for research and teaching projects in 2012.
The number of laboratory animals kept in 2012 was halved from the previous year to 5196.
While no projects listed death as the expected outcome, almost 6000 creatures were labelled ``unconscious without recovery''.
Most of these were fish used in projects aimed at improving fish population surveys and commercial fishing efficiency and the remainder were lab rats and mice used in biomedical experiments.
Eighteen institutions used Tasmanian animals in their experiments, including seven from interstate and one international firm, with the University of Tasmania the biggest single user of animals.
More than 28,800 sheep were used in a footrot vaccine trial carried out by the Department of Primary Industries.
Native animals, including 14 echidnas, were largely observed with only minor interference, with 93 platypuses, 34 quolls, 50 seals and 28 Tasmanian Devils subjected to a minor operative procedure with no recovery.
The number of animals used for research and teaching purposes has declined significantly in the last five years.