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April 17, 2015

Taiwan Legislator & #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan Launch Bill to End Cosmetics Animal Testing

#BeCrueltyFree urges Taiwan to be first East Asian country to ban cosmetics cruelty

Humane Society International, Be Cruelty-Free Taiwan

  • #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan and Legislator Wang launch a bill to end cosmetics cruelty. HSI

Today at the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan’s Parliament), Legislator Wang YuMin and the Taiwan SPCA (for the #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan campaign), launched a bill to ban animal testing of cosmetics in the country. A new opinion poll commissioned by the TSPCA and released today shows that 69.2 per cent of Taiwanese consumers want to see cosmetics animal testing banned, and 76.5 per cent believe animals shouldn't suffer in name of beauty.

An increasing number of countries around the world have banned the use of animals in cosmetics testing, including the European Union, Norway, Israel, India and New Zealand.  Legislator Wang YuMin and the #BeCrueltyFree campaign are hoping Taiwan will be the next to end animal suffering in cosmetics. At a press conference today, Legislator Wang, along with Taiwan SPCA and Taipei Rabbit Society Association, called upon the government to act quickly in passing the bill that would make Taiwan the first country in East Asia to ban cosmetics cruelty.

The ugly truth behind cosmetics animal testing was revealed at the press conference, such as the commonly used eye irritation test in which a substance is applied to a rabbit’s eye to measure any ocular damage. This cruel test can cause painful eye swelling and even lead to ulcers and blindness. All such tests are conducted on animals without the use of painkillers, yielding test results that are often unreliable because human and animal reactions to chemical substances can be very different.

Legislator Wang worked collaboratively with #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan experts to deliver the legislative proposal. In line with international trends, legislator Wang is proposing amendments to Taiwan’s Control for Cosmetic Hygiene Act, which would ban cosmetic animal testing as well as the sale of cosmetics that have been newly tested on animals abroad following a three year grace period, regardless of the current state of alternative tests. This puts Taiwan’s bill on a par with the dual test/sales ban of the European Union, and exceeds the less ambitious bill launched last month in South Korea.

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Legislator Wang YuMin stated: “In 2009 the EU, the world’s largest cosmetics market, banned cosmetics animal testing, and in 2013 banned the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.  In recent years, Israel, India and New Zealand have also passed similar legislation. Only by implementing this ban can the welfare and rights of the animals used in cosmetic testing be protected here in Taiwan.”

Taiwan SPCA & #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan campaign coordinator Joy Liou said: “The #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan campaign is delighted to join with Legislator Wang to launch this bill. Testing cosmetics on animals causes them pain and suffering, for test results that are unreliable and don’t represent modern science. Taiwan’s consumers will be better protected by banning cruel and outdated animal tests from cosmetics regulation. The number of countries that have banned or are in the process of banning cosmetics animals testing is on the rise, and with the global cosmetics market forecast to reach 265 billion USD by 2017, Taiwan’s international competitiveness will only increase once the legislation has passed.

“We urge the Taiwanese government to act quickly and pass this crucial legislation to prevent any more animals from suffering needlessly in cosmetics testing. Let’s move forward and make Taiwan the first East Asian country to #BeCrueltyFree!”

Taipei Rabbit Society Association’s Executive Director stressed: “Rabbits are very social animals that need to be in the company of other rabbits or animals.  Not only are the tests they are forced to endure very painful for the rabbits, they will also suffer emotionally from not having social interactions with other rabbits.”

The Taiwan SPCA along with international partner Humane Society International have been actively running the #BeCrueltyFree campaign in Taiwan for more than a year, steadily gathering public petition signatures in favour of a ban, and gaining the support of legislators and 23 cosmetic companies so far that back a change in the law.

ENDS

Media contact Taiwan: Connie.chiang@spca.org.tw, +886 2 2367-0317

Media contact UK: whiggins@hsi.org

Trend Survey and Research Co. conducted a nation-wide poll in April 2015, with 1,073 samples and a confidence level of 95% (margin of error +-3%).

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