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March 17, 2014

Australian Senator Applauded for Bill to End Cosmetics Animal Testing Down Under

Cross Party MPs and Be Cruelty-Free Australia unite to back the bill

Humane Society International; Humane Research Australia

  • Senator Lee Rhiannon poses with Be Cruelty-Free Australia’s team in Canberra

Be Cruelty-Free Australia, part of the largest global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics, applauds Australian Green Senator Lee Rhiannon for introducing a bill to end cruel cosmetics in Australia. 

Be Cruelty-Free Australia and cross-party MPs joined Sen. Rhiannon for the announcement of the Bill at a special press conference at Canberra’s Parliament House. This landmark legislation follows more than a year of campaigning by Be Cruelty-Free Australia – a coalition of Humane Society International and Humane Research Australia. Several federal politicians have already pledged their support for Be Cruelty-Free Australia, including the legislation’s sponsor Sen. Lee Rhiannon, Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, Leader of the Greens Christine Milne, Greens MP Adam Bandt, , Labor MP Anna Burke, Liberal MP Jason Wood, Sen.Scott Ludlam, Sen. Richard Di Natale, Sen. Penny Wright and Sen. Peter Whish-Wilson.

The bill aims to amend the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 to ban cosmetics animal testing within Australia as well as the import and sale of cosmetics newly animal-tested abroad. This would mirror the test and sales ban introduced in the European Union in 2009 and 2013 respectively. 

Hannah Stuart, Be Cruelty-Free Australia, said: “There is overwhelming public support for a national cosmetics animal testing and sales ban in Australia, so we are delighted that politicians are joining with our Be Cruelty-Free Australia campaign to achieve this shared goal. Testing cosmetics like mascara and shampoo on living creatures is a completely unnecessary cruelty and it’s time Australia joined a growing number of countries by banning it. Please support us, go online and sign our Be Cruelty-Free pledge for a world without cosmetics cruelty.”

Senator Lee Rhiannon said: “We are very encouraged that MPs from both Labor and the Liberals have pledged their support to the Be Cruelty-Free Australia campaign. This is a very encouraging action and takes us one step to legislating an end to cosmetics animal cruelty in Australia. It is absolutely disgraceful that an estimated 500,000 animals - mainly rabbits and rodents – are used each year around the world in tests of cosmetic ingredients or products. I congratulate Be Cruelty-Free, the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing, for their effective advocacy in driving this worldwide momentum to end cosmetics animal testing.”

Senator Rhiannon’s legislation comes in the wake of worldwide momentum to end cosmetics animal testing, with Be Cruelty-Free the campaign behind much of this global change. Both the European Union and Israel have banned cosmetics animal testing and the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics. India has also prohibited animal testing for cosmetics and is considering an import and sales ban. Just this year the Brazilian state of São Paulo signed a bill prohibiting cosmetics testing on animals with heavy fines for companies breaking the ban. And earlier this month U.S. Congressman Jim Moran introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act that seeks to ban cosmetics animal testing and the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the United States. Meanwhile in China, where animal testing for cosmetics is required by law, the Chinese Food and Drug Administration announced that from June such testing will no longer be mandatory for some domestically produced cosmetics.

Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats all endure untold suffering for the global beauty industry. They have chemicals dripped in their eyes or force-fed to them in massive, lethal doses. The results are of questionable relevance to humans, and such tests are being surpassed by state-of-the-art non-animal test methods that are often faster and cheaper too.


Media Contact
Hannah Stuart: Be Cruelty-Free Australia Campaign Coordinator
P: 8823 5705        M: 0407 193 526
E: hannahstuart@humaneresearch.org.au

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