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March 11, 2013

HSI/India: As Europe Bans Sales of Cruel Cosmetics, BIS Must Move Swiftly to Enact Drug Controller General’s Directive to Remove Animal Tests

Humane Society International/India

  • Animal testing is the beauty industry's ugly secret. Shutterstock

NEW DELHI — As the European Union implements its long-awaited ban on selling newly animal-tested cosmetics, Humane Society International/India calls on the Bureau of Indian Standards to follow this example without delay by ensuring that animal tests are removed as a requirement in cosmetics safety regulations, the IS4011. The Drug Controller General issued a directive calling for the fast-track deletion of these animal tests last month, following an emergency meeting held with HSI/India and other animal welfare groups.

HSI/India and its partners Blue Cross of India, the C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre and the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations, lead the Be Cruelty-Free campaign to ban animal testing for cosmetics in India.

Testing cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU since 2009, and now sales of cosmetics containing ingredients newly animal-tested in other countries is also banned. A similar ban has been enacted in Israel. In India, thousands of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and other animals endure distressing and painful cosmetic chemical tests each year.

“As Indians, pioneers of Ahimsa and non-violence, it is our fundamental duty to be compassionate towards all beings and prevent unnecessary pain and suffering,” said Alokparna Sengupta, HSI/India’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign manager. “The Drug Controller General has shown great leadership in beginning the process of ending animal testing for cosmetics, and Humane Society International urges the Bureau of Indian Standards to now act swiftly and decisively to enforce a ban. This is India’s chance to be true to our constitution, to show compassion and to stop animals’ suffering for our vanity.”

To celebrate the EU becoming the world’s largest cruelty-free cosmetics market, HSI has launched Be Cruelty-Free Week. Consumers are invited to show their support by signing a Be Cruelty-Free online pledge and by watching and a new thought-provoking animated video called ‘Bright Eyes’. Launched via YouTube, Bright Eyes shows animal testing from the perspective of a rabbit called Warren, and was generously donated by Australian Be Cruelty-Free partner Choose Cruelty Free.

To help HSI end cosmetics animal suffering in India and worldwide, sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge here or just give a missed call to 080-4931-1223.


Media contact: HSI/India: Alokparna Sengupta, +91 98-49-094113, asengupta@hsi.org


1. The EU ban will make it illegal, from 11 March 2013, to market cosmetics within the European Union if the final product or any of its ingredients have been animal-tested anywhere in the world after 11 March 2013. It therefore prohibits the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics and requires companies to use existing approved ingredients in their products. Cruelty-free cosmetics and ingredients are those which have not been subject to new animal testing after a specified date because they are already in safe use.

Humane Society International/India and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — on the Web at hsi.org/becrueltyfreeindia.

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