New Zealand have taken a huge step in improving the treatment of animals in the fashion and beauty industries: by banning cosmetic testing on animals in New Zealand.
The ban is part of the country's new Animal Welfare Amendment Act, which amends the Animal Welfare Act of 1999.
Mandy Carter, the head of campaigns for SAFE, the animal welfare group that has been protesting animal testing, told Scoop, "We're delighted the government has accepted that cosmetics testing on animals is abhorrent and should not be allowed. New Zealand has now joined the global move towards an end to these cruel tests".
Countries who have already banned cosmetic testing on animals include Norway, Israel, India, the 28 member states of the European Union and the Brazilian state of São Paulo.
According to the ABC, Australia stopped testing products on animals "some years ago", but it is not illegal. In 2013, the Labor government promised to "undertake national consultation on banning the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of all new cosmetics, toiletries or their ingredients that have been tested on animals", but were not elected. In 2014 Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek launched the aforementioned consultation, and the Greens planned to introduce a private member's bill to ban cosmetics tested on animals.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, when animals are subjected to cosmetic testing, chemicals are rubbed into bare patches of skin or dripped into eyes without pain relief.
Update (31.3.2015): While we initially reported the amendment to the Animal Welfare Act, that will ban cosmetics testing on animals, had passed, the wording of this amendment is actually still being considered by NZ's Parliament today. Which is to say that the ban has passed in essence, but we have to wait for the politicians to do all the boring technical stuff before we can pop the champagne. SAFE is already celebrating. What a great day for all the animals in NZ.
Update (1.4.2015): This morning, a spokesperson for the Green Party of New Zealand confirmed that the amendment, that will ban the testing of cosmetics on animals, was added to Animal Welfare Amendment Act in NZ's Parliament last night, March 31, 2015. According to the Green Party of New Zealand spokesperson, this bill will now enter the third reading stage, due to take place at the end of April 2015, before becoming law, which, with such broad parliamentary support, it is certain to do.
Green Party of New Zealand MP, Mojo Mathers, stated: "I'm over the moon that the Government has acknowledged my work on this issue by finally agreeing to ban cosmetics testing on animals."
Claire Mansfield, the Campaigns Director for Humane Society International's #BeCrueltyFree campaign 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."
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