India bans import of cosmetics tested on animals
Campaigners celebrate massive victory
Animal rights campaigners are celebrating a significant victory in the fight against animal testing as India bans the import of animal-tested cosmetics.
The news broke in a communication from the Indian government which stated that: "No cosmetic that has been tested on animals... shall be imported into the country."
The Ministry of Health also stated that the rules will come into force in one month's time and compliments recent legislation outlawing animal testing on cosmetics in the country.
Humane Society International/India’s Be Cruelty-Free hailed the news as "historic". It comes just a few months after the implementation of a national ban on cruel cosmetics testing in India’s labs. The import ban now makes India the first cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia.
Alokparna Sengupta, Humane Society International/India’s Be Cruelty-Free campaigns manager, said: “With today’s historic ban on the import of newly animal-tested cosmetics, India has made history for animals in South Asia. This is a huge achievement that could not have been possible without the compassion of our government, consumers and industry. We feel confident that if this vision is applied to other areas of product testing, this can be a defining moment in the modernization of India’s safety science, with potentially hundreds of thousands more animals spared pain and suffering.”
In June, HSI met with Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, to present a petition of more than 70,000 signatures supporting an import ban.
India’s dual test and import ban mirrors that of the European Union and is the latest victory in a string of achievements for the Be Cruelty-Free campaign globally. Earlier this year, Be Cruelty-Free campaigners in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States all celebrated the introduction of bills proposing national cosmetic animal test bans. Efforts by Be Cruelty-Free China also resulted in China's removing mandatory animal testing for many domestically-produced cosmetics.
“This is a message to the whole world that India will not tolerate blinding bunnies for shampoo, mascara and other ‘beauty’ products – and this ruling now gives an upper hand to businesses that use superior, human-relevant, non-animal testing methods”, says PETA Science Policy Adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri. “We applaud the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for looking out for animals’ interests and for championing modern science.”
More on animal testing
The Lush Prize is again hosting a one day public conference where experts can exchange ideas and information on alternatives to animal testing.
This year it focuses on the impact of 21st century toxicology ideas on replacing animal testing.
Book your free ticket >
Ethical Consumer on Google+