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January 24, 2014

Health Ministry Rule to Finalise India's Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban Applauded

Import and sales ban also needed to close foreign testing loophole

Humane Society International/India

  • More good news for rabbits and other animals used for testing. Viorel Simaj/istock

HYDERABAD—India’s Union Health Ministry adopted a draft rule to prohibit the testing of cosmetics on animals nationwide. Leading animal welfare group Humane Society International/India warmly received the draft rule, which is the last legislative step to this practice in India.

HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free India campaign was instrumental in achieving this legislative measure, and today renews its call for India to use this rule making opportunity to also ban the import and sale of cosmetics tested on animals in other parts of the world.

“Last year, our Be Cruelty-Free India campaign succeeded in establishing a cosmetics animal test ban by revising the Bureau of Indian Standards' test guidelines,” explains HSI India managing director, N.G. Jayasimha. “But to ensure that this test ban is enshrined within the existing regulatory framework, it is vital we also amend the Drug and Cosmetics Rules.

Live in India? Write to the Health Minister.

Jayasimha added: "Today we are celebrating because the Health Ministry’s new rules mark the beginning of the end of cosmetics animal cruelty in Indian labs. However, companies are still free to outsource their animal testing to other countries and then import their newly animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients back into India. This double standard must stop. Israel and the 28 countries of the European Union have already introduced an import and sales ban, India should follow their example to be truly cruelty-free.”

India’s Drug Technical Advisory Board has also spoken out in favour of an import and sales ban. The official minutes of the DTAB meeting on 25 November, which acknowledge HSI's campaign leadership, read: “The Board noted that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is already in the process of prohibiting the use of animals in testing of cosmetics manufactured in the country. India should therefore take a lead in prohibiting the import of cosmetics testing in animals also.”

Indian consumers can show their support for Be Cruelty-Free India's sales ban campaign by signing HSI/India’s petition to the Health Minister.

ENDS

Media contact: N.G. Jayasimha, +91 94-90-732614, ngjayasimha@hsi.org

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