March 20, 2014
New Zealand Could Ban Cruel Cosmetic Testing on Animals
Government now required to consider Be Cruelty-Free campaign's call for a ban on cosmetics testing
The New Zealand government is now legally required to consider banning cosmetic testing on animals due to proposed amendments to New Zealand’s animal welfare laws, says animal charity SAFE which leads the Be Cruelty-Free NZ campaign alongside Humane Society International.
The revision, introduced in Parliament by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers, would see animal testing of cosmetics such as shampoo or lipstick made an offence punishable by law. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 already imposes certain restrictions on testing, but with no specific mention of cosmetics. The proposed amendment, a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP), amends the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, currently under consultation, to include a prohibition on the use of animals in experiments relating to cosmetics.
“For some time, the government has known that the world is moving away from cosmetic testing on animals. Now they have an opportunity to make sure New Zealand keeps up,” says SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter. “New Zealand’s reputation is increasingly coming under scrutiny from overseas, and it is difficult to see how failing to ban cruel cosmetics testing would go unnoticed.
“More importantly, a ban would ensure that animals do not have to suffer horrific deaths for the sake of cosmetic products. Animal testing involves some of the most horrific cruelty imaginable, and there really is no excuse.”
Mojo Mathers’ amendments are the latest in a growing global trend towards cruelty-free products. Israel, India, the 28 member states of the European Union and most recently the Brazilian state of São Paulo, have already banned cosmetics animal testing. Legislative measures are under discussion in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, the United States and beyond.
A common claim in New Zealand is that cosmetic testing on animals rarely takes place. However, without a ban in place there is nothing to prevent such testing in the future.
Claire Mansfield, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free Campaigns Director, says: “Our Be Cruelty-Free campaign is spearheading global change for animals suffering in cosmetics tests and this is New Zealand’s chance to be a part of that compassionate movement towards a cruelty-free world.”
The SOP has already been through rigorous scrutiny. “All that is left is for the government to say “aye” and sign on the dotted line,” says Mandy.
SAFE has campaigned on the issue of cosmetics testing for many years and is pleased to see that concerns are finally being considered. The public can urge party leaders to support the SOP by visiting animalwelfare.org.nz
Be Cruelty-Free New Zealand: Mandy Carter 09 3615646, 021 0542692