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May 11, 2017

Australian Federal Budget commits funding to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade

#BeCrueltyFree warns consultation loopholes must be closed for effective ban

Humane Society International, Humane Research Australia, #BeCrueltyFree Australia

  • Dmitry Oshchepkov/iStockphoto

#BeCrueltyFree Australia welcomed the Coalition’s Federal Budget commitment to provide AU$2.1 million over two years from 2017-18 to implement its 2016 election commitment to ban the testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals in Australia and the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients that have been newly tested on animals outside of Australia. However, the campaign warned that major loopholes are currently under discussion in the Government consultation that would make the proposed ban ineffective and risk gutting the Coalition’s commitment to ending cosmetics cruelty.

Hannah Stuart, for the #BeCrueltyFree Australia campaign said, “Using live animals to cruelly test new ingredients for cosmetics such as hair dyes and skin cream is ethically unjustified, so we are pleased to see the Government providing funding for their 2016 election commitment to ban cosmetics cruelty. But if the loopholes are not addressed by Government, the majority of cosmetic products entering the Australian market could still contain newly animal-tested ingredients, thereby undermining the ban. These exceptions would not be consistent with the Coalition’s policy announcement to implement a ban on cosmetics animal testing and the sale of animal tested cosmetics in Australia.”

The first loophole would limit the ban to ingredients used exclusively for cosmetics. However, only a small minority of substances are used exclusively as cosmetic ingredients. The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) requires chemical introducers to specify the intended use of a substance and undergo separate introductions for different uses. Therefore, a ban on the use of new animal test data to support the introduction of a chemical for cosmetic use, regardless of other uses, would not impact other regulated industries. This loophole would undermine the spirit of the ban and have little practical impact on preventing new cosmetic animal testing.

The second loophole would allow the use of new animal test data created for another use to be used to register cosmetics products and ingredients, despite the ban. Allowing the use of new animal test data, used initially for a different purpose, to be subsequently used for a cosmetic product, would create a loophole so large as to render a ban all but meaningless.

Such exceptions would mean that cosmetic products containing newly animal tested ingredients would still be allowed to be sold in Australia - going against the Coalition's policy commitment.

"#BeCrueltyFree Australia has made a detailed submission to Government outlining why these loopholes are unnecessary and inconsistent with both the Coalition’s commitment to a ban and global precedent for cosmetics animal testing bans,” Stuart added. “We will continue to work with Government to ensure that meaningful legislation is introduced which enacts a real ban on both cosmetics animal testing within Australia and the sale of cosmetics products or ingredients newly tested on animals abroad.”

Australians can support #BeCrueltyFree Australia by visiting BeCrueltyFree.org.au, and voicing their support for a national ban on animal testing for cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics that have been newly animal-tested abroad.

#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 #BeCrueltyFree campaigns in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States.

Facts:

  • Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are the most common animals used to test cosmetics, subjected to having cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their shaved skin, or force fed to them orally in massive, even lethal doses.
  • A May 2013 poll by Nexus Research on behalf of Humane Research Australia found an overwhelming majority of Australians (85 percent) oppose using animals in the development of cosmetics with a large majority (81 percent) supporting a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals – that's four out of five Australians who support a national ban.
  • More than 500 beauty brands are certified cruelty-free globally, including popular Australian brands such as LUSH, Natures Organics, MooGoo, Australis, and many others such as those listed on the Choose Cruelty Free List.
  • These cruelty-free companies have sworn off animal testing, yet still produce new, safe and fabulous beauty products. They do so by using long-established ingredients combined with state-of-the-art non-animal tests that can produce faster, cheaper and more relevant test results.
  • The global #BeCrueltyFree campaign was launched in 2012, and cosmetics animal testing and/or trade bans are now in place throughout the European Union, Israel, Norway, India, New Zealand and Turkey, with similar legislative measures under development in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan, Argentina and Russia, and removal of some animal testing in South Korea and China.

Media Contact:

Hannah Stuart, #BeCrueltyFree Australia Campaign Coordinator, 0407 193 526 (Australia), hannahstuart@humaneresearch.org.au

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