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May 23, 2014

Historic Milestone Celebrated as India Finalises Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban

Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free India campaign welcomes victory for animals

Humane Society International/India

  • Przemyslaw Rzeszutko/istock

Effective today, animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients is outlawed throughout India. India becomes South Asia’s first country to end cosmetics cruelty in its laboratories. Humane Society International/India welcomes this historic milestone. In a dual celebration, HSI also welcomed a draft notification introduced earlier this month proposing to ban the import of cosmetics tested on animals abroad. 

HSI/India’s high-profile Be Cruelty-Free campaign has been instrumental in convincing the Drug Controller General and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to end animal testing for cosmetics. More than 30 members of parliament, legislative assemblies and legislative councils have shown their support for Be Cruelty-Free. Led by Mrs. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, policy makers including Shri Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Suresh Kumar Shetkar and Minister Shri Ramalinga Reddy have actively assisted this effort. Bollywood celebrities Anil Kapoor, Raveena Tandon and Kunal Kapoor have also joined the campaign.

Alokparna Sengupta, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free India campaign manager, said: “This is a huge victory for animals in laboratories, our Be Cruelty-Free India campaign and the dozens of compassionate legislators who wrote to the Health Ministry on our behalf to push for change. India has taken a huge step forward in ethical consumerism and with the import ban notification too, we will soon be world leaders in ending cosmetics cruelty.” 

The test ban was finalised when the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (Second Amendment) 2014 was notified through Gazette no: 346 (E), following completion of a 45 day public consultation. The Import ban proposal has been introduced by the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which has already begun public consultation.

India’s test ban victory and import ban proposal is the latest in a string of achievements for the Be Cruelty-Free campaign globally. In January Be Cruelty-Free Brazil welcomed the state of Sao Paulo’s introduction of a ban on cosmetics animal testing, while in March Be Cruelty-Free Australia and Be Cruelty-Free USA both celebrated the introduction of draft test and sale ban legislation. That same month, Be Cruelty-Free New Zealand announced that Parliament would debate a cosmetics animal test ban as part of the country’s animal welfare legislation review.

Media contact: Navamita Mukherjee, +91 9985472760, nmukherjee@hsi.org

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