The Australian Senate has passed a motion urging the Government to fulfill its commitment to fully ban cruel animal testing for cosmetics. The motion was drafted alongside continued discussions between the Government and Humane Society International, which has welcomed the initiative, together with its #BeCrueltyFree Australia campaign partner Humane Research Australia. The cross-party motion is co-sponsored by Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Labor Senator Helen Polley, Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff, Senator Derryn Hinch, and Independent Senator Tim Storer.
#BeCrueltyFree Australia campaign manager, Hannah Stuart, said: “Testing the ingredients of cosmetics like mascara and shampoo on living creatures is an unnecessary cruelty and it’s time Australia joined the nearly 40 countries that have already banned it. We welcome this motion as a reminder of the need to ensure that Australia’s proposed ban completely prohibits cosmetics cruelty – without exceptions – so that it fully reflects the will of the voting public, and the government’s commitment to end cosmetic animal cruelty in our country. We will continue working with the Government and all parties to strengthen the proposed ban, and in so doing put Australia on the map as a country that truly says NO to cosmetics cruelty.”
The current wording of the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 would mean that cosmetic chemicals with end uses in other product sectors would not be covered by the ban, leaving consumers exposed to buying newly animal tested cosmetics even after the ban comes into force. Humane Society International remains in active negotiations with the Department of Health to address shortcomings of the proposed ban provisions, and is working together with the Department to develop additional measures to ensure the ban prohibits the use of new animal test data for any and all cosmetic end uses, not just some. Amendments have also been tabled in the Senate and are co-sponsored by Labor, the Greens, Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff, and Senator Derryn Hinch.
Independent Senator Tim Storer, said: “I welcome the opportunity to lend my support to this cross-party motion. Cosmetics animal testing is a cruel and dated practice and Australia should waste no time in joining the 40 countries globally which have banned animal testing. As polls have demonstrated the majority of Australians support the ban and have called for more resources to be allocated to scientific alternatives.”
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party Senator Derryn Hinch, said: “Decades ago, I was writing protest articles about the cruel Draize test being used on trapped rabbits’ eyes by perfume houses in Paris. I am so proud that all these years later, I can support a Senate motion to ban all cosmetic tests on animals in Australia.”
Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff, said: “There is no justification for continuing to test cosmetics on animals. Most Australians want to make ethical choices and use sustainable cruelty-free products. A ban is a win-win for consumers and animals.”
Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, said: “Animal testing for cosmetics is cruel, completely unnecessary and Australians are asking us to take strong action to end it. The current proposal from the Government is a half measure and won’t make the changes needed to consign cruel cosmetics to the history books. The Greens support strong laws that protect animals.”
Labor Senator Helen Polley, said: “Labor has a strong track record on animal welfare, having introduced the Ethical Cosmetics Bill in 2016 to address this issue.”
Cosmetics tests involve animals having chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their skin or force fed to them in massive doses. Some of these tests were first developed in the 1940s and cannot be relied upon to guarantee consumer safety. Cruelty-free companies operate by combining use of long-established ingredients with modern, non-animal test methods that better predict human responses.
Humane Society International estimates that around half a million animals – mainly rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice – suffer and die in cruel and outdated tests of cosmetic ingredients or products each year around the world. Poll data show the overwhelming majority of Australians oppose the use of animal testing to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients, and support a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
Humane Society International’s global #BeCrueltyFree campaign is the largest global effort in history to end cosmetics animal testing and trade. Humane Society International and its partners have played a leading role in many of the nearly 40 national bans enacted to date, and in driving similar measures in active political discussion in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the United States and Vietnam.
Australians can support #BeCrueltyFree Australia by simply visiting BeCrueltyFree.org.au and voicing their support for a robust ban on cosmetics cruelty in Australia.
(a) The Senate notes:
i) a Nexus Research poll on behalf of Humane Research Australia found most Australians oppose the use of animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients, and support a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals,
ii) nearly 40 countries around the world have already banned cosmetics animal testing and the sale or import of newly animal-tested cosmetics, including the world’s largest cosmetics markets the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, and India,
iii) there is strong cross-party support for a ban on cosmetics cruelty – the Australian Greens, the Australian Labor Party, the Centre Alliance, and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party have all committed to a complete ban on animal testing for cosmetics, and the Government announced its own commitment during the 2016 election, and the Australian public and animal protection campaigners, including #BeCrueltyFree Australia, welcomed these commitments,
iv) the ban, as currently proposed in the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 and draft Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules 2018, should be strengthened to ensure that the ban fully prohibits the use of new data on cosmetic ingredients which are derived from animal tests, and
v) the 2017-18 Budget stated the Government would provide funding to implement its election commitment, and would “ban the use of new data on cosmetic ingredients which are derived from animal tests from 1 July 2018”; and
(b) urges the Federal Government to implement its election and Budget commitments to ban cosmetic testing on animals, and to ensure that no newly animal-tested cosmetic ingredients are introduced to the Australian market after the ban comes into effect.