THOUGHT COSMETIC TESTING WAS A THING OF THE PAST?
The #BeCrueltyFree Australia Campaign is a partnership between Humane Research Australia and Humane Society International that is calling on the Government to make Australia the next country that says no to cruel cosmetics.
#BeCrueltyFree Australia believes that testing the ingredients of cosmetics like mascara and shampoo on living creatures is a completely unnecessary cruelty, and that it’s time Australia joined a growing number of countries by banning it.
Without a comprehensive legal ban there is nothing to prevent cosmetics animal testing taking place here in Australia, or overseas during development of products sold in our shops. Such bans are already in place in more than 30 countries globally. A ban in Australia would be good for animals, consumers, and science, and it’s what the overwhelming majority of Australian citizens want.
It's time to put Australia on the map as a country that says NO to cosmetics cruelty.
About the Be Cruelty-Free Australia Campaign
Be Cruelty-Free Australia is calling for:
- A ban on new animal testing for cosmetic products or their ingredients in Australia
- a ban on the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals or containing newly animal-tested ingredients
- The overwhelming majority of Australians (85%) oppose animal testing on cosmetics, and support banning the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics (81%)
- Cosmetics animal testing causes animals great harm, significant pain and distress, and, often, death
- Human biology-based non-animal testing methods can provide faster, cheaper, and more relevant results for consumer protection - there is a compelling consumer safety benefit in moving away from animal testing
- Cosmetics animal testing bans can spur research and development of 21st century testing methods, potentially generating economic growth
Jazzy the guinea pig wants Australia to #BeCrueltyFree
Jazzy the guinea pig has an important message to share about the plight of her friends who are forced to undergo cruel and outdated cosmetics animal testing just for the sake of a new shampoo or lipstick.
Key Achievements So Far
- Following a 2 year campaign by #BeCrueltyFree Australia, the Federal Government pledged to ban the testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals in Australia and the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients that have been tested on animals outside of Australia. Read more here.
- February 2016 - The Australian Labor Party introduced legislation to ban cosmetics animal testing in Australia and the import and manufacture of newly animal-tested cosmetic products and their ingredients. The Ethical Cosmetics Bill was drafted following months of campaigning by #BeCrueltyFree Australia. Read more here.
- Jan 2016 - Seven of Australia’s leading animal protection organisations – Humane Society International, Humane Research Australia, Animals Australia, World Animal Protection, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Voiceless the animal protection institute, and Choose Cruelty Free – wrote an urgent open letter to the Minister for Rural Health, Senator Fiona Nash, urging the government to bring forward meaningful legislation to ban animal testing of cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics newly animal tested abroad. Read more here. Read more here.
- September 2015 - A motion in support of ending cruel animal testing for cosmetics was moved in the House of Representatives by Government MP Jason Wood. The cross-party motion was seconded by Liberal MP Steve Irons, with the support of Labor MPs Kelvin Thompson and Melissa Parke, and Greens MP Adam Bandt. The motion was drafted following discussions with #BeCrueltyFree Australia. Read more here.
- November 2014 - Be Cruelty-Free Australia Worked with Liberal Senator Ruston and all co-sponsoring parties to achieve the passing of a cross-party Senate motion in support of ending animal testing for cosmetics. The motion was co-sponsored by Liberal Senator Anne Ruston, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Labor Senator Lisa Singh, Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan, Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, Palmer United Party Senator Zhenya Wang, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, and Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir. Read more here.
- September 2014 - Be Cruelty-Free Australia made a detailed submission to the Australian Labor Party's Cosmetics and Animal Testing Policy Consultation, calling for a ban on the importation, manufacture, and sale of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals. The consultation received over 13,000 submissions, 92% of which supported a ban on cruel cosmetics. Labor is now in the process of developing policy options in response to this evidence of overwhelming support. To view Be Cruelty-Free Australia's submission just click here:
- March 2014 - Be Cruelty-Free Australia worked with the Australian Greens Party to help launch the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill. The Bill 2014 was introduced into the Senate on March 18th 2014. This legislation would amend the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the ICNA Act) to prohibit developing, manufacturing, selling, advertising or importing into Australia cosmetics, or ingredients for cosmetics, which have been tested on live animals after the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Bill. Read more here.
This progress towards prohibiting cosmetics animal testing in Australia reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics animal testing and the will of Australians who oppose using animals for the development of cosmetics. Be Cruelty-Free Australia's discussions with politicians, regulators, and industry are ongoing.
Australian Politicians Pledging to Be Cruelty-Free
An ever growing number of Australian politicians from all parties are voicing their support for the campaign. Over 25 MPs have pledged to #BeCrueltyFree so far.
Celebrity Support of Be Cruelty-Free Australia
Vanessa Thornton, bass guitarist with Australian rock band Jebediah, used World Animal Day in 2015 to urge Australia to 'kiss cosmetics animal testing good-bye'. See media release here.
Adalita Srsen, solo artist, and lead vocalist and guitarist with Australian rock band Magic Dirt. See media release here.
Jona Weinhofen, vegan guitarist and vocalist with Australian metal band I Killed the Prom Queen. See media release here.
Australian model and animal-loving vegan, Renee Somerfield.
Outsourced and Neighbours actress, Pippa Black.
British comedian and actor Ricky Gervais.
Cosmetics animal testing causes animals great harm including death. Examples of animal tests performed on cosmetics ingredients include:
Acute toxicity: The test substance is pumped directly into a rat’s stomach using a syringe); animals may experience diarrhea, convulsions, bleeding from the mouth, seizures, paralysis, and ultimately, death. In fact, in order to calculate the so-called "lethal dose", death is in most cases the required endpoint.
Repeated dose toxicity: Rats or mice are force-fed a substance every day for 28 to 90 days; at the end of the experiment the animals are killed and their organs are examined.
Skin Sensitisation: The test substance is applied to the surface of the skin or injected under the skin of a guinea pig, or applied to the ear of a mouse; animals' skin may show signs of redness, ulcers, scaling, inflammation, and itchiness.
Pain relief is not provided to animals on the basis that it could interfere with test results, and the animals used are almost always killed at the end of an experiment.
Many animal tests are decades old and have inherent well known scientific weaknesses due to species-differences that make regulation based on animal tests highly questionable. Non-Animal safety testing focuses on how chemicals and medicines affect human, rather than animal, systems—eliminating problems of species and breed differences. There is a compelling consumer safety benefit in moving away from animal testing.
How companies produce new cosmetics without animal testing
Safe existing ingredients are the key. Hundreds of companies — including LUSH, Natures Organics, MooGoo, Australis, and many others such as those listed on the Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) List — have sworn off animal testing, yet still produce new, safe and fabulous beauty products. They do so by using long-established ingredients combined with state-of-the-art non-animal tests that can produce faster, cheaper and more relevant test results.
The Situation in Australia
Sadly, many people assume that this type of research is no longer conducted, and generally speaking, cosmetic and product testing does not occur in Australia.
However, animal testing for cosmetics products and ingredients is not banned under Australian law. In fact, animal testing may be required in some cases to introduce a new cosmetic product or ingredient on the Australian market. In Australia the use of animals for scientific purposes is overseen by Animal Ethics Committees, which authorise such testing based on independent interpretation of existing guidelines.
Though it is claimed that little animal testing for cosmetics takes place in Australia, this claim has never been officially substantiated. Therefore the possibility still exists that animal testing for cosmetic purposes could occur in Australia.The only way to guarantee that such animal testing will never happen in Australia, or indeed increase in the future, is to introduce a clear and robust ban.
(Source: Nexus Research Poll 2013)
A public opinion poll conducted in May 2013 by Nexus Research on behalf of Humane Research Australia found that the overwhelming majority of Australians (85%) oppose using animals to develop cosmetics and 81% support a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. Similarly, a July 2014 opinion poll by Roy Morgan Research showed that 'Not Tested on Animals' was one of the top 3 features looked for by Australian female consumers when buying cosmetics, ranking higher than anti-ageing benefits and sun protection factor.
Furthermore, in August 2014, more than thirty cosmetics companies from across Australia joined with #BeCrueltyFree to write an open letter to then Health Minister Peter Dutton urging him to support a national ban on animal testing for cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics animal-tested abroad. Cruelty-free brands backing the #Be CrueltyFree Australia campaign include LUSH, The Body Shop, Australis, Natures Organics, KORA Organics (the cruelty-free range by model Miranda Kerr), and many others.
Testing cosmetics on animals is still legal in around 80 per cent of countries globally, including Australia.
Not only would banning animal-tested cosmetics in Australia be in line with public opinion, but it would also be in tune with the growing global trend towards ending cosmetics animal testing. There are already testing and sales/imports bans in place across the EU, Norway, India and Israel, and we have also most recently seen a testing ban in New Zealand. Elsewhere, legislative proposals are also being actively considered in Brazil, Taiwan, the United States and Vietnam.
What you can do:
Take action by sending an email to the Australian Government asking that they say NO to cosmetics cruelty: BeCrueltyFree.org.au
Take the pledge to #BeCrueltyFree at: hsi.org/bcfpledge
One of the easiest and most important things you can do to help end product testing is to NEVER purchase any cosmetic or household product that has been tested on animals. To find out which products are genuinely ‘cruelty free’ you can check CCF’s Preferred Product List. They also have an app you can download to ensure your list is always with you when shopping.
View HSI's infographic to learn more about the global #BeCrueltyFree campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics.
Follow @BeCrueltyFreeOz on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the Be Cruelty-Free Australia Campaign.
Media Releases and News Updates:
11-Aug-2015 Turkey restricts animal testing of cosmetics
31-Mar-2015 New Zealand Passes Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban
13-Apr-2014An important message from Henry
24-Jan-2014 Sao Paulo bans cosmetics animal testing
14-Oct 2013 Asia shows rowing interest for alternatives
27-Sep-2013 Media Release - International Rabbit Day
06-Jul-2013 International Kissing Day
03-Jul-2013 Activists push for animal testing ban in China
10-May-2013 Big Cosmetics in Little China