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March 11, 2013

Historic EU Ban Shows Way to End New Zealand’s Cosmetics Cruelty

New Zealand urged to join EU in animal-tested cosmetics ban

Humane Society International

  • Calling all Kiwis to Be Cruelty-Free. iStock

As the European Union implements its landmark ban on selling newly animal-tested cosmetics, animal campaigners SAFE and Humane Society International say New Zealand must urgently apply its own ban to cruel and unethical animal tests.

SAFE Campaign Manager Mandy Carter said: “New Zealand was the first country in the world to prohibit testing on chimpanzees, but we’ve proved ourselves to be woefully behind the times when it comes to cosmetics testing. The EU ban proves there is absolutely no need to put chemicals in animals’ eyes and on their skin for the sake of cosmetics. A ban in law here is long overdue.”

Testing cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU since 2009, and now the sale of cosmetics containing ingredients that have recently been animal-tested in other countries is also banned. Similar bans have been enacted in Israel, and are under discussion in India.

In New Zealand, animal testing is not explicitly required by law, but neither is it prohibited. HSI and SAFE launched the Kiwi arm of the global Be Cruelty-Free campaign last year to ensure that no rabbit, guinea pig or other animal is subjected to distressing and painful testing for the sake of beauty products.

Said Troy Seidle, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign director: “The EU is now the largest cosmetics market in the world. If we can end cosmetics cruelty there, we can end it everywhere. Humane Society International knows that the people of New Zealand care about animal welfare, so we need them to get on board and lobby their politicians to follow the EU’s compassionate lead.”

To celebrate the EU becoming the world’s largest animal friendly-cosmetics market, HSI and SAFE have launched a thought-provoking animated video called ‘Bright Eyes’ to raise vital awareness and to call on New Zealand’s cosmetics industry to turn its back on animal testing once and for all. ‘Bright Eyes’ shows animal testing from the perspective of a rabbit called Warren, and was generously donated by Australian Be Cruelty-Free partner Choose Cruelty Free.

To help SAFE and HSI end cosmetics animal suffering in New Zealand and worldwide, consumers are invited to sign a Be Cruelty-Free online pledge at safeshopper.org.nz and hsi.org/becrueltyfree. The call for more people to sign the pledge leads up to a range of special activities by SAFE around World Day for Animals in Laboratories in April, showcasing SAFEShopper, New Zealand’s own guide to products not tested on animals, and the Be Cruelty-Free campaign.

By supporting the Be Cruelty-Free campaign, Kiwis will be able to support both an international ban on cosmetics animal testing, and at the same time send a strong message to the New Zealand government that animal testing for cosmetics needs to be banned by law.



SAFE: Mandy Carter, 021 054 2692, mandy@safe.org.nz

HSI: Wendy Higgins, +44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org


The European Union ban will make it illegal to market cosmetics within the EU if the final product or any of its ingredients have been animal-tested anywhere in the world after 11 March 2013. It therefore prohibits the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics and requires companies to use existing approved ingredients in their products. Cruelty-free cosmetics and ingredients are those which have not been subject to new animal testing after a specified date because they are already in safe use.

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — on the Web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree.

SAFE has had a long history of highlighting the cruelty of animal testing and in 2011 launched SAFEShopper, New Zealand’s own guide to cosmetics not tested on animals. On the web at safeshopper.org.nz.

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