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December 1, 2014

Australian Senate Motion Against Cosmetics Animal Testing Welcomed by #BeCrueltyFree Campaigners

#BeCrueltyFree Australia

  • From left to right, co-sponsors of the animal testing for cosmetics motion Sen. Wang, Sen. Ruston, Be Cruelty Free Australia's Hannah Stuart, Sen. Rhiannon, Sen. Singh and Sen. Lazarus, stand for a photo outside the Australian Parliament House. Humane Research Australia

The Australian Senate has passed a motion in support of ending cruel animal testing for cosmetics. The cross-party motion is co-sponsored by Liberal Senator Anne Ruston, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Labor Senator Lisa Singh, Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan, Palmer United Party Senators Glenn Lazarus and Zhenya Wang, and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon. The motion was drafted following discussions with #BeCrueltyFree Australia, the leading campaign for a ban on cosmetics animal testing, which has welcomed the initiative. 

Hannah Stuart for #BeCrueltyFree Australia, said: “Testing the ingredients of 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. So we welcome this motion as an encouraging sign that our call for an Australian ban on cruel cosmetics is gathering pace, marking another important step towards achieving our goal. We look forward to working with the Government and all parties to develop meaningful legislation that bans both animal testing and the sale of cosmetics products and ingredients tested on animals abroad, and in so doing puts Australia on the map as a country that says NO to cosmetics cruelty.”

“Without a legal ban there is nothing to prevent cosmetics animal testing taking place here in Australia, or overseas during development of products sold in our shops. Such bans are already in place across the European Union, Israel and India, and there is now a growing worldwide momentum towards ending such cruelty. A similar ban in Australia would be good for animals, consumers and science, and it’s what the overwhelming majority of Australian citizens want.”

The Senate motion is the latest in a series of positive actions by Australian MPs to address the issue of ending cosmetics cruelty. Green party Senator Lee Rhiannon introduced the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill in March and the Labor party concluded a public consultation in September which found that 92% of respondents supported a ban on cruel cosmetics. National polls have similarly indicated high levels of public support, with a 2013 Nexus Research poll showing 85% of Australians opposing animal testing for cosmetics. 

“I believe it’s time to acknowledge the majority of Australians would like to see an end to testing cosmetics on animals, and that we have a responsibility to work towards this worthy goal.”  Deputy Government Whip in the Senate, Liberal Senator Anne Ruston.

“This is a small positive step forward to eliminate animal cruelty, and it is excellent to have in principal commitment from Labor, the Liberals and the Nationals. The next step would be to pass legislation to ban all animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients.” Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Lee Rhiannon.
 
“Consumers want to know that products they buy are not tested on animals. But making sure we get this right is critical. Working through the issues carefully with the goal to phase out the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients tested on animals is important. It's also the Australian community’s expectation. Policy around animal testing requires an ethical perspective, which should be informed by scientific evidence and community standards." Labor Party Senator Lisa Singh.

Cosmetics tests involve animals having chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their skin or force fed to them in massive doses. Some of these tests were first developed in the 1940s and cannot be relied upon to guarantee consumer safety. Cruelty-free companies operate by combining use of long-established ingredients with modern, non-animal test methods that better predict human responses.

#BeCrueltyFree Australia – run by Humane Research Australia and Humane Society International (Global) - is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally there are Be Cruelty-Free campaigns in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.

Australians can pledge to #BeCrueltyFree by simply clicking here, and voicing their support for a national ban on animal testing for cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics animal-tested abroad.

Media Contact:
Hannah Stuart, #BeCrueltyFree Australia Campaign Coordinator, 0407 193 526, hannahstuart@humaneresearch.org.au
Twitter: @BeCrueltyFreeOz

Notes

Motion:

(1) The Senate notes:

a) The majority of Australians believe the use of animal testing to evaluate safety of cosmetic products and ingredients is unnecessary.
b) The regulatory framework in Australia for chemicals, including cosmetics, is complex.
 
(2) The Senate urges the Government to aspire to eliminate unnecessary animal test methods to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients.



A public opinion poll conducted in May 2013 by Nexus Research on behalf of Humane Research Australia found that 85% of Australians oppose using animals to develop cosmetics and 81% support a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. Similarly, a July 2014 opinion poll by Roy Morgan Research showed that 'Not Tested on Animals' was one of the top three features looked for by Australian female consumers when buying cosmetics.

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