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July 16, 2014

Be Cruelty-Free New Zealand Welcomes Labour Pledge to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing

Humane Society International, SAFE

  • Fekete Tibor/istock

Be Cruelty-Free New Zealand is delighted at news from the Labour Party that it will ban both cosmetics testing on animals and the sale/import of animal-tested products should it win the upcoming General Election this September.

The Labour announcement follows a high-profile two year campaign by Be Cruelty-Free New Zealand, led by SAFE and Humane Society International. Be Cruelty-Free has attracted widespread public and corporate support, including a letter to Prime Minister John Key signed by 28 cruelty-free cosmetics companies, a nationwide advertising campaign urging Key to ‘Hop To It’, a 15,500-strong petition handed in to Parliament, and celebrity support from the likes of Kiwi actress Michelle Langstone.

The vast majority of New Zealanders – 88.6 percent - support a ban on cosmetics animal testing, according to a poll conducted last year by Horizon Research on behalf of SAFE. And policy makers are listening – in March Green Party MP Mojo Mathers introduced a Supplementary Order Paper in Parliament seeking to ban cosmetics animal testing as part of the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill. Now, Labor’s pledge for a ban is another important milestone towards ending cosmetics cruelty.

Claire Mansfield, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaigns director, said: “This is welcome news that our Be Cruelty-Free New Zealand campaign has been hoping for. Kiwis want an end to cosmetics cruelty, and Labour’s commitment to ban cosmetics animal testing brings us one step closer to achieving a world where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics. Countries that fail to address this issue are looking increasingly isolated as ending cruel and out-dated animal tests for cosmetics is becoming the norm. Political leadership like this is exactly what New Zealand needs to become the next country to #BeCrueltyFree. We still need to see promises turned into action for animals, but this is certainly very exciting progress.” 

New Zealand is moving forward in a growing global trend towards cruelty-free cosmetics. The 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Norway, Israel, India and most recently the Brazilian state of São Paulo, have already banned cosmetics animal testing. Legislative measures are also under discussion in Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, the United States and Vietnam. 

In animal tests, rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals endure considerable suffering. They can have cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their skin or force fed to them in lethal doses. Although it is believed that cosmetic animal testing seldom if ever takes place in New Zealand, it is still legal to sell cosmetics that have been animal-tested abroad. A sales/import ban would prevent that, and a national test ban would also ensure that cosmetics animal testing can never return to New Zealand.

Be Cruelty-Free New Zealand is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing, with campaigns across Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.  

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

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