With the European Union ban on the import of new cosmetics tested on animals coming into force this month, it is a good moment to report on positive moves elsewhere.
The following is an abridged version of eNews received from The New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) This excellent organisation, whose mission statement is Protecting Animals – Supporting Alternatives – Advancing Science dates back to 1895, almost contemporaneous with Quaker Concern for Animals here.
From January 2013, the sale and import of cosmetics and cleaning materials tested on animals was made illegal in Israel. The Israel Health Ministry said it would investigate and prosecute importers who violate the new law.
Importers will be required to get permits from the Health Ministry for every cosmetic or cleaning product they import in future, though the animal-tested products already on the shelves would not be removed.
Israel already bans animal testing for cosmetics and cleaning products from taking place. Under a 2007 law, Israel will now be joining the European Union in banning the sale and import of cosmetics tested on animals, a bill enacted in 2004.
Israel’s import ban specifically targets products that are not intended for health purposes and also includes exceptions for products for which animal testing began prior to 2010.
The new law also gives importers a year to continue selling animal-tested products, if the importer states that the manufacturer was unable to find any other solution and the Israel Health Ministry validates the claim. The law stipulates that this transition period can be extended until early 2016.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 animals are used in the process of developing every cosmetic or cleaning product that involves animal testing, according to the explanatory section of the new law.
~ With thanks to www.neavs.org
And in India:
Humane Society International/India praises a direction given by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to fast-track deletion of the final two animal tests from India’s cosmetics safety standard. The directive was issued during an emergency meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards’ PCD19 Cosmetic Sectional Committee, to which HSI/India was a special invitee, and marks the beginning of the end of acute oral toxicity (lethal poisoning) and oral mucosal irritation animal testing for cosmetic purposes in India.
“Humane Society International/India applauds the foresight and compassion of Drug Controller General Dr. G.N. Singh’s direction in this progressive move,” said HSI India Be Cruelty-Free Campaign Manager Alokparna Sengupta. “It’s unthinkable that in this day and age, animals are still choking on cosmetic chemicals in decades-old poisoning tests while companies choke on their own inertia in switching to a cruelty-free business model.”
From now on, companies in India wishing to test cosmetic products or ingredients for these specific effects will have to submit a non-animal testing proposal to the DCGI for approval. Eventually, it is expected that the Indian cosmetic standard IS4011 will be amended to reflect the changes as directed by DCGI. The BIS has the responsibility of setting up safety standards for cosmetics by the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO), through the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1945.
HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign, the largest-ever global effort to end animal testing for cosmetics, has worked with various Legislative Assemblies and Members of Parliament in India who have written to the CDSCO and BIS in support, asking for an end to cosmetics testing on animals.
To show your support for an end to animal testing for cosmetics in India and around the world, sign a Be Cruelty-Free pledge:
It is reported that Dr Singh met MP and animal activist Maneka Gandhi [in February] to discuss the legislation.
Dr Singh said, “Several developed countries have put in rules that ban testing cosmetics on animals. We are thoroughly examining them. We don’t want to be cruel to animals. If other countries don’t allow it, we will also ban animal testing of cosmetics. The decision will follow a thorough examination and a strong scientific examination.”
And in the United States, the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine reports:
… we’re not resting until the United States joins the EU and Israel.
We’re talking with U.S. lawmakers and working [with] cosmetics manufacturers.
Our new Come Clean campaign is working to end excruciating skin irritation and corrosion tests on animals.
Come Clean asks cosmetics companies to reveal whether they perform these tests, so PCRM scientists can help them transition to superior, cruelty-free test methods.
To read more about the excellent work of this active group, please visit:
News from the New Zealand group SAFE:
In New Zealand, animal testing for cosmetics is not explicitly required by law, but neither is it prohibited. SAFE and Humane Society International (HSI) launched the Kiwi arm of the global Be Cruelty-Free campaign last year to ensure that no rabbit, guinea pig or other animal is subjected to distressing and painful testing for the sake of beauty products.
SAFE has been running SAFEShopper, New Zealand’s own guide to products not tested on animals, since 2011.
You can send an e-card to John Key asking for cosmetic testing on animals to be banned NOW!
HSI and SAFE have also launched a thought-provoking animated video called ‘Bright Eyes’ to raise vital awareness and to call on New Zealand to turn its back on animal testing once and for all.