The new regulation comes into effect from July 1st and follows two years of lobbying by animal cruelty groups who have been aiming to bring the country in line with other markets that no longer test on animals, specifically the European Union.
In particular, the pressure has been maintained By UK organisation Humane Society International, which has overseen the Be Cruelty-Free China campaign through its Beijing-based team, in collaboration with a number of domestic animal welfare groups.
Bringing China in line with other global markets
The ruling is also an important step towards the goal of allowing international cosmetics into China without compromising claims that they do not test on animals.
“This is an important first step for China in moving away from cruel and unreliable animal testing for cosmetics,” said Peter Li, PhD, HSI’s China policy adviser.
“Our Be Cruelty-Free campaign has worked hard to achieve this milestone, but we know much work remains before we eliminate all cosmetics animal testing in China, so we are not resting on our laurels.”
Still no green light for international companies
Although Li stresses that this is an important step towards expanding their businesses in Europe, he also says that companies need to do their homework and proceed with caution.
“Our Be Cruelty-Free campaign has worked hard to achieve this milestone, but we know much work remains before we eliminate all cosmetics animal testing in China, so we are not resting on our laurels,” Li said.
“In making this rule change, China is acknowledging the global trend towards cruelty-free cosmetics, and that’s hugely significant.”