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Blog for Last Chance for Animals, an international non-profit dedicated to ending animal cruelty and exploitation.

Australian Government Pledges to Ban Cosmetics Testing on Animals

In a major win for the animals, the federal governemt of Australia has pledged to ban animal testing for cosmetics. Announced on June 3, 2016 by Assistant Minister for Health Key Wyatt and Federal Liberal Member for La Trobe Jason Wood, the ban is scheduled go into effect July 1, 2017.

Said Wood, “testing the ingredients of cosmetics like mascara and shampoo on living creatures is a completely unnecessary cruelty and it’s time Australia joined a growing number of countries by banning it.”

Under the Australian ban, it will become illegal to test cosmetics on animals as well as to sell any cosmetics that have been tested on animals. The legislation will join similar bans in the European Union, New Zealand, India, the UK, Israel, and Turkey

Animals used for cosmetic product testing have toxic chemicals and irritants applied to their eyes and skin, and injected into their bodies. Some cosmetics companies have stopped testing products on animals, but many more continue the inhumane practice.

Sadly, cosmetic product testing is only one type of invasive animal experimentation, called vivisection. Vivisectors defend their work as necessary for the advancement of human health and scientific discovery. However, this claim is false. 

For decades, LCA has stood at the forefront of the fight against vivisection, opposing animal testing for cosmetics, medicine or any other purpose. In 1988, LCA Founder Chris DeRose exposed torturous experiments on cats at UCLA's Brain Research Institute, finally bringing the issue international attention. The cats had devices surgically grafted onto their brains by researchers, drawing public outrage. Media outlets such as CNN and ABC revealed the disturbing images to the world, bringing vivisection to the global conversation.

Cat with surgically-implanted device attached to brain at UCLA, 1988Cat with surgically-implanted device attached to brain at UCLA, 1988

As Australia makes progress in the fight to end cosmetic product testing on animals, the United States still lags behind. A proposed ban on animal cosmetic testing, the Humane Cosmetics Act, was reintroduced in 2015; however, congressional tracking site GovTrack.us gives the bill only a 9% chance of being enacted. That is, unless the representatives who sit on the subcommittee currently holding up the bill finally take action. If not, the US will continue to fall behind the many countries who have recognized the inherent cruelty of animal cosmetics testing and moved to ban it -- a group that now includes Australia.

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