The University of Otago is being urged to find an alternative to animal testing.
It's building a new five-storey, $50 million animal research facility, which is due to open in February 2018.
The SPCA's chief scientific officer, Dr Arnja Dale, is concerned animals like rats, sheep and cats will suffer.
"At first glance it looks like there is no intention to reduce the number of animals used," she says. "We would strong encourage invest a sizable amount of money into alternatives to animal use."
The SPCA supports the use of "the three Rs" -- replacing the use of animals in research, reducing their numbers and refining experiments to reduce suffering.
The SPCA is advocating alternatives to animal testing, including computer modelling, human volunteers and cell cultures.