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December 6, 2012

Shoppers Urged to Celebrate a Cruelty-Free Christmas

Australians are being asked to show their compassion this Christmas by ensuring that their cosmetic and perfume gifts have NOT been tested on animals

Humane Society International

The call comes as Australian groups Choose Cruelty Free and Humane Research Australia band together with Humane Society International as part of a worldwide campaign collaboration, Be Cruelty-Free. The groups are calling on the Australian Government to follow the lead of the European Union in introducing legislation ensuring that no cosmetic shall be imported into, sold or manufactured in Australia if the final product or its ingredients have been tested on animals.

Testing cosmetics on animals rarely occurs in Australia. Whilst it is not explicitly 'banned' in all states, it would not accord with the justification requirements of the Code of practice for the care and use of animals in scientific procedures, and thus would be illegal.

The problem is however, that the vast majority of products lining our supermarket shelves are imported by companies that do test on animals in countries such as the United States, Brazil and China. That’s unethical, say CCF, HRA and HSI so they’re urging consumers to leave cosmetics cruelty on the shop shelves this Christmas and to support the campaign to rid Australia of animal-tested beauty products once and for all.

Genuinely cruelty-free products in Australia can be found on the Choose Cruelty Free List.

"Choose Cruelty Free has been pressuring the Australian Government for a number of years to introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of cosmetics tested on animals," says Liz Jackson of Choose Cruelty Free. "Hundreds of thousands of consumers have already sent messages to our government, making it clear they do not want blood on their hands."

Troy Seidle of  Humane Society International notes, "Animal testing is the beauty industry’s ugly secret but the truth is that Australian consumers are unwittingly paying for animal suffering taking place in laboratories thousands of miles away. But if Australia, like the European Union, says no to cosmetics cruelty and stops selling these products, companies will be forced to act more ethically and wash their hands of animal testing."

“Cosmetic testing is one of the most unjustifiable uses of animals in research. We have an abundance of safe products already on the market, and subjecting animals to pain and suffering for the sake of our own vanity is inexcusable,” adds Helen Marston from Humane Research Australia.

Background:

In order to test the irritability, toxicity and other potential health concerns of non-essential products like a new lipstick or shampoo, animals are subjected to very cruel and painful tests. These can include applying the test chemical to their shaved and abraded skin, dripping it in their eyes, and force-feeding it orally.

Aside from the obvious suffering caused by these procedures, intricate differences in the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of chemicals between different species make animals inappropriate models to predict human outcomes.

What makes this animal suffering even more unjust is that producing innovative cosmetics without animal testing is simple. Hundreds of companies practice cruelty-free manufacturing by using available non-animal alternative tests that are more predictive of human reactions, and the many thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients that are already proven safe and require no further testing of any kind.

To support the campaign to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in Australia, sign the petition and take the Be Cruelty-Free pledge.

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