A campaign, run by the Green Party and animal rights activists to outlaw the testing of make-up and other products on rabbits and guinea pigs, has tasted victory with the New Zealand government banning animal trials within the cosmetic industry. The amendment to the ‘Animal Welfare Amendment Bill’ makes it illegal for manufacturers to test ingredients or finished products on animals.
“To the best of our knowledge, there has never been any animal testing for cosmetics in New Zealand, but this amendment will send an important message that this kind of testing is unacceptable to New Zealanders and will never happen here,” Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy said.
“I have been working solidly behind the scenes to get this ban through Parliament for some time now. During the course of this campaign, thousands of Kiwis signed petitions and emailed and lobbied MPs to support my call to ban cosmetics testing on animals. It’s fantastic that we will now be able to hold our head up high as a country and say that we, too, have banned this cruel and outdated practice,” said Green MP, Mojo Mathers.
The ban is unlikely to lead to products being stripped from shelves in New Zealand, since about 90% of cosmetic products sold in New Zealand are made overseas. The new ban would also not affect imports.
Claire Mansfield, a campaign director for Humane Society International, said, “We are thrilled that New Zealand’s politicians have taken this important step to vote out cosmetics cruelty.” She also called the victory a moment to be celebrated for animal welfare and compassionate consumers.
New Zealand isn’t the first to turn its back on animal cosmetics testing. The 28 countries of the European Union outlawed the practice in 2009, and Israel, India and the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo have all introduced bans as well. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and the United States are now considering legislative bans on cosmetic testing on animals.
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