WELLINGTON— New Zealand has taken a major step toward joining the growing list of progressive nations to ban cruel animal testing of cosmetics, following a two-year campaign by #BeCrueltyFree New Zealand. An amendment to the Animal Welfare Act similar to that proposed by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers was voted through today—a decision that reflects the desire of New Zealand’s consumers and cosmetics industry to ensure that animal testing of cosmetics can never take place in the country.
The #BeCrueltyFree New Zealand campaign led by Humane Society International, the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society and Helping You Help Animals has been instrumental in achieving this animal welfare milestone. #BeCrueltyFree worked closely with MP Mathers, and has gathered support from a large number of cosmetics companies such as LUSH, Antipodes, Wendyl’s and Kester Black as well as celebrities including Michelle Langstone (The Almighty Johnsons), Sam Bunkall (Shortland Street), netball champion Irene van Dyke, and a host of music stars such as Anna Coddington, MC Tali, Tiki Taane, Flip Grater, Rosa Dub, Brockaflower, and legendary Queen guitarist Brian May. In opinion polls, more than 89 per cent of Kiwi consumers backed the ban, and more than 100,000 people signed #BeCrueltyFree petitions and e-cards.
Claire Mansfield, HSI’s Global #BeCrueltyFree Campaigns Director, said: “We are thrilled that New Zealand’s politicians have taken this important step to vote out cosmetics cruelty. This is a moment to be celebrated for animal welfare and compassionate consumers, and yet another achievement for the #BeCrueltyFree campaign.”
The #BeCrueltyFree campaign also has legislative bans being considered in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and the United States, as part of its global efforts to eradicate animal testing from the cosmetics industry. In such tests, rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals can have chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their skin or fore fed to them in massive doses without pain relief. Under the revised Animal Welfare Act, animal testing of finished cosmetics and ingredients intended exclusively for use in a cosmetic will be illegal anywhere in New Zealand. The current testing ban does not apply to so-called “dual use” ingredients—substances that may be co-regulated under chemicals law or other regulatory regimes—nor can the AWA impose restrictions on the import and sale of cosmetics animal tested abroad, so closing these gaps is #BeCrueltyFree’s next goal.
Stephen Manson for #BeCrueltyFree New Zealand said, “This is a positive step for New Zealand and brings us closer into line with the growing international move away from animal testing of cosmetics. We hope that the next move by the government will be to end the import and sale of animal tested cosmetics. We can then play our full role in ending this practice globally.”