The letter was addressed to Peter Dutton, currently the Health Minister for the government cabinet, and focuses on urging government to implement a test and sales ban in line with countries such as Norway, Israel, India, the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo and the EU.
The signatures included that of Mark Constantine, founder and CEO of UK-based Lush Cosmetics, which also has a significant presence in the Australian market.
Lush get in on the act
In another open letter penned by Constantine and published in The Age this week, he underlines the company’s commitment to animal-free testing, and outlined his beliefs as to why animal testing of cosmetics should be outlawed.
“A cruelty-free Australia is a win-win for everyone – happy customers, happy regulators and happy bunnies. It has been argued that most companies don’t test on animals in Australia anyway so why ban it?” Constanine asked.
“But that’s just an excuse for doing nothing. The truth is we simply don’t know how much cosmetics animal testing happens in Australian labs, but we do know that for as long as it remains legal the higher the chance it will continue, or even increase, in the future.”
Public consultation launched
In the same week that pressure came from the industry itself to ban this kind of testing, a new public consultation is being launched with the aim of establishing a route towards enacting laws that will completely ban the process in the country.
The consultation has been launched by the opposition Labor party, which has consistently argued that it is Australian rules demanding animal testing under specific circumstances that is holding back the ban.
The consultations sessions are being conducted in both Melbourne and Sydney, together with other major cities throughout the country, during the course of this week.
So far Australian cosmetic body Accord has conceded that global pressure means Australia will have to fall in line, and the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme, part of the department of health and the body that oversees animal testing requirements, has also said that it is closely monitoring the international situation.