Animal testing declines in New Zealand, but campaign to end it lives on

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Animal testing declines in New Zealand, but campaign to end it lives on

Related tags New zealand Animal rights

The number of animal tests has declined significantly in New Zealand, but the Humane Society International says it will continue to put pressure on until the practice is totally outlawed.

Last week statistics from the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee’s annual report showed that just over 224,000 tests were carried out in New Zealand during the course of 2013, a drop of almost 26% compared to the figures for 2012.

However, the Human Society, as part of its Be Cruelty Free campaign, wants to stress that, while it is often assumed that the testing of cosmetics on animals does not take place in New Zealand, the campaigners want to stress that the practice still remains legal in the country.

Animal testing on cosmetics still legal in New Zealand

In theory, cosmetics sold in New Zealand can still be tested on animals such as rabbits and rodents for eye, skin and oral poisoning tests on a variety of products as diverse as lipstick and shampoo.

The organisation points out that this puts New Zealand behind the European Union, Israel, and India, where a total ban has now been implemented on the animal testing of ingredients or finished products.

In the Asia Pacific region as a whole significant progress has been made in the past year, with authorities in both India implementing a total ban, and China authorities introducing regulations that allow for animal testing on only a small number of cosmetics products.

Support for a ban grows

Currently political support for a ban on animal testing of cosmetics in New Zealand is growing, with Green MP Mojo Mathers proposing earlier this year an introduction of a cosmetics animal testing ban as part of amendments to the Animal Welfare Act.

“At the same time as we’re seeing such laudable progress in replacing animal tests with state-of-the-art alternatives, it makes no sense for animal testing for cosmetics to still be legal in our country,”​ said Stephen Manson, of Be Cruelty Free New Zealand.

“A 17-year low in laboratory animal use demonstrates that New Zealand has the potential to modernise its science base, so it’s crazy that when it comes to banning something as morally indefensible as animal testing for beauty products, New Zealand lags behind many other countries.”

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