The testing of cosmetics on animals has been a hot button topic for many years the world over with many animal welfare groups and even cosmetics companies, including The Body Shop, campaigning to have the practice banned globally.
There has been some global progress in this campaign, in the UK testing cosmetic products and their ingredients on animals was banned in 1998 and in 2013 the same ban was introduced across the EU. The website Understanding Animal Research cites the ban as being possible thanks to the development of non-animal cosmetic testing methods.
However, Australia has been slower to adopt a ban. It was only during the 2016 Election campaign that the Australian Government committed to introduce a cosmetic animal testing ban and the following year a package of bills were tabled, the Industrial Chemical Charges Bill 2017, to put this promise into action. And on February 14, 2019 that bill package passed an important milestone by passing the Senate.
What does that mean exactly? It means Australia has joined the EU and the UK in effectively banning cosmetic animal testing in Australia.
“Today we are celebrating a major win in the fight to end animal testing.” The Body Shop Australia’s Shannon Chrisp said in a statement, adding, “The Body Shop has been on a mission to end cosmetic animal testing globally for over 30 years, so to have this bill passed in Australia is fantastic progress. Hopefully, we will see more governments around the world follow suit.”
The bills still have a few hoops to jump through though, Brian Quinlan from the Department of Health told Vogue the next steps are for the bills “to be returned to the House of Representatives for consideration. Once passed by Parliament, the bills will proceed to Royal Ascent.”
In terms of when the ban will come into effect, Quinlan said it will be in effect from July 1, 2020 and it will not affect any cosmetics products currently on the shelves. “The ban will apply to animal test data obtained from tests conducts on or after 1 July 2020, so will not affect products currently on the market,” Quinlan said.
When asked what will happen to any animals currently in cosmetics testing programmes, Quinlan had this to say: “Any decision on whether to continue with [animal] testing is a decision for the companies concerned, noting that there is no animal testing for cosmetic ingredients currently being undertaken in Australia. The ban has been designed so there will be no incentive to conduct tests to meet the information requirements for introduction of chemicals used solely in cosmetics in Australia.”
Sounds like a win for animal and beauty lovers alike!
Source: Vogue Australia