If implemented, such a move would follow and consolidate last year’s ban on animal testing within the country, and bring the subcontinent in line with the EU’s new regulations on the marketing of products which have been tested on animals.
The draft notification follows the recommendation by DTAB at the end of last year for a ban on imports and will now go through legal vetting and public consultation. Such a bill will heavily restrict international players looking to leverage the emerging market, and will further fuel recent efforts into the development of testing alternatives.
The legislative rule prohibiting animal testing for cosmetics throughout India completed its public consultation period in March and is expected to be implemented soon.
While brands responded quickly in adapting to meet last year’s ban, and the proposed extension will require further effort on that front.
Unilever, who are a major player on India’s personal care scene, have confirmed their commitment to full compliance.
“We are at the forefront of research into novel non-animal approaches to replace animal testing for assessing consumer safety. We are fully committed to eliminating the need to do any animal testing, whilst also ensuring that we can continue to innovate and develop new and safe products,” the brand has said.
The proposal of the new ban follows pressure from various lobby groups, including the Humane Society International, who voiced their support for the move.
“With a ban on cosmetics animal testing already in place in India, it is now time to ensure that cosmetics tested with cruelty in other countries cannot be imported in India’s shops,” said Alokparna Sengupta, country campaign manager.
The group is also making moves to help the industry with compliance.
According to HIS, scientists in China are being trained in how to use state-of-the-art in vitro methods to test cosmetics instead of using live animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, as part of an $80,000 grant from Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium.