Cosmetic animal testing “ban” progress welcome, but loophole must be closed

The RSPCA has welcomed progress on legislation to end animal testing in cosmetics, but says loopholes must urgently be closed before the legislation is passed.

The Senate Committee report into the Industrial Chemicals Bill was tabled yesterday, and recommends the legislation is passed in its current form.

A proposed “ban” on the use of animal testing for cosmetic purposes is included in the Bill to fulfil a government election commitment, and was included in the 2017-2018 Budget.

However, several committee Senators have called for amendments to the Bill following concerns raised by advocacy groups – including the RSPCA –as the proposed legislation only prohibits animal testing on chemicals used solely for cosmetic purposes.

Most cosmetic ingredients are used for a variety of purposes, and could therefore, still be tested on animals.

The Department of Health’s own data from 2014-15 show that only 21% of chemicals using animal test data are introduced for use ‘solely in cosmetics’, meaning 79% of new chemical introductions will not be affected. 

The RSPCA, along with other animal welfare groups, proposed amendments to the legislation as part of the Committee process, to close the loophole and better align the legislation with the successful European Union model.

The RSPCA has welcomed the comments and dissenting statements in the report from Committee representatives, who have also highlighted this loophole.

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