We develop fit-for-purpose animals with minimised environmental footprints and maximised product values. We also develop world-leading animal health and welfare systems.

Our Science

Better breeding

AgResearch finds ways to improve the nutrition, health and welfare of livestock for efficient and sustainable animal production.

Our scientists use a broad range of physiology, nutrition, and genomics-based research tools to improve economically important traits such as survival, growth rate, health, fecundity, meat and milk production (yield and quality) and disease resistance while minimising environmental impact and use of chemicals in ruminant livestock production.

Our teams are experts in the parasitic and infectious diseases of pastoral livestock, animal genomics, genome editing, ruminant nutrition and animal physiology including reproduction and microbiology behind healthy, productive and efficient ruminant livestock.

Deer on Invermay farm

High-quality, science-driven research

Our commitment to exceptional animal research is well illustrated by our involvement in the deer industry. In fact, 2022 marked half a century of deer research in New Zealand by AgResearch and its predecessors as well as the deer industry itself.

From being considered a noxious pest that should be exterminated, deer are now synonymous with New Zealand farming systems and we produce quality animals and exceptional high value products for the world.

The 50 years of research has included major advances in understanding of deer nutrition, health, behaviour and genetics, and in development of products such as venison, velvet and milk that are exported around the world.


The impact of that science has been huge, and it has been key in developing the modern, sophisticated deer farming industry in New Zealand we see today.

Innes Moffat, Chief Executive, Deer Industry New Zealand

Quality researchers and facilities

Our research covers the spectrum of fundamental to applied science.

We work with fully equipped dairy, deer, sheep, and beef farms with modern facilities for on-farm animal trials.

We also have fully equipped animal facilities for more detailed trials for small and large ruminants including the New Zealand Ruminant Methane Measurement Centre.

Low methane-emitting sheep in a Portable Accumulation Chamber

Our laboratory facilities are well appointed to support the range of research undertaken and we have access to New Zealand's only EPA-approved outdoor containment unit for genetically modified livestock.

  • Additional capabilities

    • Animal genomics
    • Animal genetics
    • Animal behaviour
    • Animal welfare
    • Animal management
    • Animal nutrition and physiology
    • Rumen microbiology
    • Animal biotechnology
    • Infectious disease
    • Parasitology
    • Agricultural systems and reproduction
    • Climate change impacts and adaptation
    • Regen agriculture
    • Social science
    • Statistics
    • Bioinformatics
    • Data science
    • Modeling


AgResearch is conscious of its responsibilities and the need for openness and accountability around our research involving animals. ​We offer a service to help make sure research on animals is only undertaken when there are no practical alternatives and then we reduce the numbers of animals used and impact on them as much as possible.

Find out more

Related People

Our People

Related Work

Our Research

Latest News


Get in touch with our team

Contact us

Send an email to one of our team or check out our facilities located across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Send another enquiry

Something went wrong and the form could not be submitted. Please try again later.