Australian cosmetic animal test ban bill passes Senate after government commits additional reinforcement measures to HSI

By : Humane Society International February 14, 2019

The Australian Senate has today passed the Government's Industrial Chemicals Bills 2017, including measures to prohibit reliance on new animal test data for chemicals introduced into Australia for use as ingredients in cosmetics. Passage of the bill was made possible thanks to an agreement reached with Humane Society International (HSI) this week, which saw the Government commit to 11 substantial reinforcing measures to ensure that all cosmetic ingredients are captured by the ban, together with funding to support the development and uptake of modern non-animal test methods. HSI, together with its #BeCrueltyFree Australia campaign partner Humane Research Australia, have welcomed the essential commitments which will ensure the implementation of a robust ban on cruel cosmetics in Australia.

Hannah Stuart, HSI Campaign Manager for #BeCrueltyFree Australia, said: "We are pleased to welcome this milestone in moving to end reliance on cruel and outdated cosmetic animal testing in Australia. This week's commitments by the Government to further restrict the use of new animal test data for cosmetic uses, and to reduce reliance on animal testing more broadly as well, come as a product of nearly three years of intensive negotiations with Humane Society International. Paired with the Government's additional commitments to HSI, this ban reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics cruelty, and the will of the Australian public which opposes using animals in the development of cosmetics. We thank the Government for showing leadership on this important issue, and HSI will continue to work with them to implement the commitments and enforce a robust ban. This is a huge win for animals, consumers and science.”

Stuart added: "Negotiations between HSI and the Government to secure the essential commitments and passage of the bill today were made possible through overwhelming public and cross-party support of #BeCrueltyFree Australia's campaign for a robust national ban on cruel cosmetics, and in particular through the support of key Coalition MPs Jason Wood and Steve Irons, as well as the crucial backing of Senate amendment and motion co-sponsors Labor, the Greens, Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff, Senator Derryn Hinch, and Senator Tim Storer.

The Government's additional commitments to HSI and #BeCrueltyFree Australia include the following:

  • Further crucial provisions in the Ministerial Rules that accompany the bill which will prohibit new animal test data for all cosmetic uses of chemical ingredients introduced to Australia, ensuring that consumers won't be exposed to buying newly animal tested cosmetics even after the ban comes into force.
  • Further measures to increase compliance with the ban once implemented, as well as measures which extend beyond the cosmetics ban, and will contribute even more significantly to a reduction in animal testing.
  • Allocating funding to support the development and uptake of new approach methods to replace animals in regulatory testing, and clearly articulating within the Industrial Chemicals Categorisation Guidelines that animal testing must only be used as a last resort, thereby aligning with international precedent.

The letter from the Minister and a full list of Government commitments made to HSI and #BeCrueltyFree Australia can be viewed here.

Facts:

  • HSI's global #BeCrueltyFree campaign is the largest global effort in history to end cosmetics animal testing and trade. HSI 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, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the United States and the ASEAN region of south-east Asia. #BeCrueltyFree Australia is a partnership between Humane Society International and Humane Research Australia which has campaigned for over six years specifically on the issue of cosmetics cruelty in Australia.
  • Humane Society International estimates that around 500,000 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. Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are the most common animals used to test cosmetics, subjected to having cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their shaved skin, or force fed to them orally in massive, even lethal doses.
  • A May 2013 poll by Nexus Research on behalf of Humane Research Australia found an overwhelming majority of Australians (85 percent) oppose using animals in the development of cosmetics with a large majority (81 percent) supporting a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals – that's four out of five Australians who support a national ban. Similarly, a July 2014 opinion poll by Roy Morgan Research showed that 'Not Tested on Animals' was one of the top three features looked for by Australian female consumers when buying cosmetics.
  • More than 1000 beauty brands are certified cruelty-free globally, including popular Australian brands such as LUSH, Natures Organics, MooGoo, Australis, and many others such as those listed on the Choose Cruelty Free List.

These cruelty-free companies have sworn off animal testing, yet still produce new, safe and fabulous beauty products. They do so by using long-established ingredients combined with state-of-the-art non-animal tests that can produce faster, cheaper and more relevant test results.

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About HSI Australia

HSI concentrates on the preservation of endangered animals and ecosystems and works to ensure quality of life for all animals, both domestic and wild. HSI is the largest animal protection not-for-profit organisation in the world and has been established in Australia since 1994