It’s been almost two years since the government announced its plan to prohibit cruel tests on animals for cosmetics products, and now, this life-saving legislation has been pushed back another year.
A delay in legislation that will prevent animals from having chemicals dumped into their eyes, poured down their throats, or rubbed onto their skin is inexcusable. It’s also frustrating for consumers, who have made it clear that they don’t want to support these cruel tests for another instant, let alone another whole year.
Toxic and Tragic
Not only do animals in laboratories endure the application of chemicals to their sensitive eyes and skin, they’re also forced to live in barren cages that lack environmental enrichment. Many develop neurotic behaviour, such as spinning in circles.
Testing products on animals is also bad science. These experiments are poor predictors of human skin and eye reactions. For example, the results from eye-irritation tests are often flawed because of the physiological differences between human and rabbit eyes.
In 2016, a Roy Morgan survey found that Australian consumers are increasingly concerned about animal testing. This research showed that marketing products as “[n]ot tested on animals” resulted in the biggest boost when it came to influencing sales in recent years.
“Cosmetics” in Australia include all make-up and skin- and hair-care products, as well as things like toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, perfume, and sunscreen.
While cosmetic companies don’t test on animals in Australia, many conduct tests on animals elsewhere in the world, before they end up on our shelves here.
Amid the election hype in 2016, the government announced that it would ban cosmetics testing on animals, effective on 1 July 2017. At the time, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM MP was alleged to have said that such tests were “unethical, unnecessary, of highly questionable value and should stop”.
But just prior to the 2017 deadline, the government announced a 12-month delay. Now, the legislation has been pushed back again until July 2019.
In the Fine Print
As the first delay was announced, it was also revealed that government’s plan had too many loopholes to be effective for animals. The original proposal only banned the use of data for ingredients used “solely in cosmetics”. The vast majority of cosmetic ingredients are also used in other sectors, and therefore under this legislation, could still be tested on animals.
We hope that the delay at least means the final legislative outcome will be more robust for animals.
Dear intelligent people of the world,
don’t get shampoo in your eyes.
It really stings.
Now fucking stop torturing animals.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 21, 2012
More than 30 countries – including the entire European Union, Israel, New Zealand, and India, where PETA India was instrumental in getting a ban passed – have already ended cruel and barbaric tests on animals for cosmetics, a list that Australia should join immediately.
The sooner we stop allowing companies to profit from torturing animals, the better.
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for a ban to buy cruelty-free products that don’t cause any animals to suffer. Click below to find out whether your favourite products are cruelty-free: