Breaking! Australia Becomes One Step Closer To Banning Animal Testing For Cosmetics After 2-Year-Old Bill Passes Senate

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The Australian Senate passed the Government’s Industrial Chemicals Bills 2017, including measures to prohibit reliance on new animal test data for chemicals introduced into Australia for use as ingredients in cosmetics.

Yesterday’s passage of the bill was facilitated by an agreement reached with Humane Society International (HSI) in which the Government committed to 11 substantial reinforcing measures to ensure that all cosmetic ingredients are captured by the ban, together with funding to support the development and uptake of modern non-animal test methods.

HSI, together with its #BeCrueltyFree Australia campaign partner Humane Research Australia, have welcomed the essential commitments which will ensure the implementation of a robust ban on cruel cosmetics in Australia.

“We are pleased to welcome this milestone in moving to end reliance on cruel and outdated cosmetic animal testing in Australia,” Hannah Stuart, HSI Campaign Manager for #BeCrueltyFree Australiasaid in a statement. “This week’s commitments by the Government to further restrict the use of new animal test data for cosmetic uses, and to reduce reliance on animal testing more broadly as well, come as a product of nearly three years of intensive negotiations with Humane Society International. Paired with the Government’s additional commitments to HSI, this ban reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics cruelty, and the will of the Australian public which opposes using animals in the development of cosmetics.”

The Government’s additional commitments to HSI and #BeCrueltyFree Australia include the following:

  • Further crucial provisions in the Ministerial Rules that accompany the bill which will prohibit new animal test data for all cosmetic uses of chemical ingredients introduced to Australia, ensuring that consumers won’t be exposed to buying newly animal tested cosmetics even after the ban comes into force.

  • Further measures to increase compliance with the ban once implemented, as well as measures which extend beyond the cosmetics ban, and will contribute even more significantly to a reduction in animal testing.

  • Allocating funding to support the development and uptake of new approach methods to replace animals in regulatory testing, and clearly articulating within the Industrial Chemicals Categorization Guidelines that animal testing must only be used as a last resort, thereby aligning with international precedent.

HSI’s global #BeCrueltyFree campaign is the largest worldwide effort in history to end cosmetics animal testing and trade. HSI and its partners have been instrumental in many of the nearly 40 national bans enacted to date, and in driving similar measures in active political discussion in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the United States and the ASEAN region of south-east Asia.

Humane Society International estimates that around 500,000 animals – mainly rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice – suffer and die in cruel and outdated tests of cosmetic ingredients or products each year around the world. Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are the most common animals used to test cosmetics, subjected to having cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their shaved skin, or force fed to them orally in massive, even lethal doses.

More than 1000 beauty brands are currently certified cruelty-free globally, including popular Australian brands such as LUSH, Natures Organics, Australis, and many others.

These cruelty-free companies have sworn off animal testing, yet still produce new, safe and fabulous beauty products. They do so by using long-established ingredients combined with state-of-the-art non-animal tests that can produce faster, cheaper and more relevant test results.

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