Recently, the Australian government committed to a complete ban on animal testing for cosmetics in Australia, which should go into effect by July 2017. An estimated 200,000 animals are used for cosmetic testing every year around the world. The Australian plan will only ban new products from testing on animals; existing products would not need to be removed from sale.
Animal testing has been banned in Europe since 2004. A second ban on animal-tested ingredients was introduced in 2009, followed by a 2013 ban on the import or sale of cosmetics that have been newly tested on animals, meaning that EU companies now cannot test their cosmetic ingredients or products overseas.
The European model serves as a reminder to Australians that while a ban on animal testing is a positive advance in animal welfare, we still have a long way to go. Many countries, particularly China, have made cosmetic testing mandatory. This means that cosmetic products manufactured outside the country and imported for retail sale to consumers must undergo animal testing. If you are using Australian brands in future, you can be sure that your product wasn’t tested on any animals; however, that doesn’t mean the company is helping put a stop to animal testing on a worldwide scale. Many big cosmetic brands deny testing on animals, yet continue to sell in China where animal testing is mandatory. While these brands claim to be ‘cruelty-free’, they do not prioritise welfare over profits. While true that it may not affect the product you are using in Australia, it certainly doesn’t help the banning of cruel testing – if the brands were to boycott selling in China, and other mandatory testing countries, perhaps that would motivate the governments to rethink their laws.
If you want to take a stance against animal testing, it is important to support brands that prioritise animal welfare and have taken steps to eliminate animal testing from all their ingredients and products. We have compiled a list of our favourite cruelty-free companies who have sworn off animal testing, yet still produce new, safe and fabulous beauty products.