Introduced at a press conference in the Australian parliament house in Canberra at the end of last week, the bill is backed by Cruelty-Free Australia, alongside a number of politicians from most of the country’s major political parties.
Those politicians include deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek, leader of the Greens Christine Milne, Greens MP Adam Bandt, Labor MP Anna Burke, Liberal MP Jason Wood, Senator Scott Ludlam, Senator Richard Di Natale, Senator Penny Wright, and Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.
Politicians from all ends of the spectrum unite
“We are very encouraged that MPs from both Labor and the Liberals have pledged their support to the Be Cruelty-Free Australia campaign,” said Senator Rhiannon.
“This is a very encouraging action and takes us one step to legislating an end to cosmetics animal cruelty in Australia. It is absolutely disgraceful that an estimated 500,000 animals - mainly rabbits and rodents – are used each year around the world in tests of cosmetic ingredients or products.”
The bill also represents the culmination of a year-long campaign by Cruelty-Free Australia, which is a coalition of the Humane Society International and Humane Research Australia, to draw attention to the way animal testing is still being carried out as part of the research and development of cosmetics.
The bill aims to make amendments to the Industrial Chemicals Act 1989 which would see a total ban of cosmetic animal testing in Australia, as well as making it illegal to import and sell cosmetics that have been tested on animals.
Australia to fall in line with the EU and Israel?
Such a proposal would bring Australia into line with EU countries, where there is currently a total ban on all testing of cosmetics on animal, as well as a ban on animal tested cosmetics imported into the country.
The ban follows the total ban of animal tested cosmetics in both Europe and EU, and also coincides with concerted efforts by campaigners to see the ban of such testing in other key global markets, including the United States, as well as countries such as China and Japan in the Asia Pacific region.
During the past year the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo has signed a bill prohibiting cosmetics animal testing, while in China authorities have announced that some domestically produced cosmetics will no longer be subjected to mandatory animal testing.