Labor takes aim at animal-tested cosmetics

Bunnies have been given a reason to hop for joy with news of the ALP's latest election commitment — to lead a phase out of cosmetics tested on animals.

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PUBLISHED ON: 3 September 2013

Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, has announced that, if re-elected, Labor will launch a national consultation on ending the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients that have undergone animal testing.

This decision represents hope for a brighter future for the millions of rabbits, mice, dogs and other animals around the world who are poisoned, blinded or killed each year in cosmetics testing — all for the sake of human 'beauty'.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the thousands of kind people who have spoken out, and the campaigning of Animals Australia member societies Choose Cruelty Free and Humane Research Australia — Minister Plibersek has acknowledged that "animals shouldn't suffer in the quest for better mascara or lipstick".

Such a move would bring Australia would bring Australia into line with the European Union's ban on the sale of cosmetics that are tested on animals, which came into effect in March 2013.

Closing the loophole

The thought of dripping chemicals into a rabbit's eyes for the sake of a product like mascara or eye liner is awful. So it's not surprising that many people assume selling products tested this way would already be illegal in Australia. Sadly, that is not quite the case.

While strict state regulations in Australia mean that in effect animal testing of finished cosmetics does not happen here, there is still no federal law that explicitly bans it – and imported products or ingredients tested on animals can still be sold in Australia. Many everyday well-known brands and products sold in our department stores and supermarkets are still being tested on animals overseas.

Labor's proposed plan to address this legislation gap could be a major step forward in the fight against animal abuse in the name of make up and cosmetics — and hopefully heralds a day when the saying "beauty is pain" simply doesn't apply to animals.

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