Researchers are being asked to explore other avenues before testing on animals in New Zealand.
Figures from the Ministry of Primary Industries show the number of animals used for research, testing and teaching rose 13 percent in 2016.
SPCA chief scientific officer Dr Arnja Dale told Newshub facilities should be looking to decrease the number of animals tested on.
"[They should be] adhering to the three R principles which is reduction, refinement and replacement," she said.
Dr Dale said any plans to use animals for research, testing or teaching needs to be thoroughly thought through.
"[A] very robust cost benefit analysis should be undertaken," she said.
There is some good news in the numbers, however. The number of animals killed in testing has decreased and it is having less effect on the others.
"The vast majority of animals that were involved in research testing and teaching had either no impact or very little impact on them," Dr Dale said.