A re-elected Labor government would ban the marketing of cosmetics which had been tested on animals, the minister for health and medical research for Australia announced on August 29.
Tanya Plibersek, a member of the Labor party, said that the group would commit to a national consultation on ending the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of cosmetics or cosmetics ingredients which have undergone animal testing.
Animal testing is currently illegal in Australia, but a loophole in the law allows products and ingredients which have been tested on animals overseas to be sold in the country.
Plibersek said: "Most Australians would be surprised to learn that some companies test their cosmetics or their ingredients on animals overseas, before selling them here."
“I believe Australia needs to play its part in the international movement against animal testing.”
Australian cosmetics testing
Animal testing for cosmetics cannot be carried out in Australia, but the law allows products from other countries where testing is permitted - for example, China and the US- to be imported into the country.
Plibersek’s suggestion would bring Australia in line with EU regulations, where the marketing of cosmetic products tested on animals was banned in March 2013 after being phased out over the previous ten years.
It is currently unclear how and over what time period the new regulations will be implemented if they are introduced.
The testing of animals in other circumstances, such as medical experiments, is regulated by state and territory laws.
Labor is one of the two most prominent parties in the Australian political system and has governed the country since the 2007 election.
In contrast to the Coalition, the other dominant party, center-left Labor supports animal rights and the creation of an independent office for their welfare.
Summing up the group’s views, Plibersek said: “animals shouldn’t suffer in the quest for better lipstick and mascara.”
The CEO of RSPCA Australia, Heather Neil, commented: “The RSPCA believes that Australia urgently needs a national, co-ordinated approach to reduce animal use and to investigate, develop and validate alternatives to animals in research and testing.”