By Kate Good
The cruel practice of using animals for cosmetic testing is on its last days in New Zealand, thanks to a groundbreaking bill that will amend the country’s Animal Welfare Act. The bill, proposed by Green Party Member of Parliament, Mojo Mathers, has passed through the debate phase and will be enacted into law within the coming weeks.
When the bill goes into effect, all cosmetic companies within New Zealand will no longer be permitted to test their products on animals. New Zealand joins the ranks of India and Brazil in their decision to phase out animal testing. We hope to see New Zealand commit to even tighter regulations that would ban the import of animal tested cosmetics – as India and Brazil have – in the future, but this is an amazing first step.
According to Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign, Parliament’s decision to put this bill into the works, “reflects the desire of New Zealand’s consumers and cosmetics industry to ensure that animal testing of cosmetics can never take place in the country.”
More and more, international governments and cosmetic manufacturers are coming around to the fact that using animals to test the safety of cosmetics is not only unnecessary, but also extremely cruel. There are countless ingredients available for use in cosmetics that are known to be safe for human, making the process of submitting thousands of animals to toxicity tests superfluous. Further, science has shown that due to the differences in animal and human biology, we cannot guarantee that an animal’s adverse reaction to a product will indicate the same for humans. Rather, many non-animal alternatives for testing the safety of compounds are much more accurate. As more countries phase out animal testing, these technology can take the fore and revolutionize the way we test cosmetics for safety.
Claire Mansfield, HSI’s Global #BeCrueltyFree Campaigns Director, said: “We are thrilled that New Zealand’s politicians have taken this important step to vote out cosmetics cruelty. This is a moment to be celebrated for animal welfare and compassionate consumers, and yet another achievement for the #BeCrueltyFree campaign.”
It truly does seem that the tide against animal testing for cosmetics is turning; however, there still is a long way to go in New Zealand and across the world. As yet another country takes steps towards a cruelty-free future, we can’t help but to wonder when the U.S. will finally make the leap.