In a letter to Cruelty Free International, Guy wrote that he believes it is highly unlikely that any AEC will approve a project to conduct cosmetics tests on animals.
The Minister’s statement follows a series of conversations between Cruelty Free International and his department, the Ministry of Primary Industries over the past two years.
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.
In June, MPs rejected a proposal to directly ban animal testing for cosmetics, but this statement effectively closes the door to animal testing for cosmetics in the country.
“This is an important step forward which we have been asking for from New Zealand and other countries. Although we would prefer a legislative ban on animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients as in the European Union and India, we welcome this clear policy statement from New Zealand," says Cruelty Free International CEO Michelle Thew.
Last year, CFI announced that 1 million people had added their names to its pledge for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics.
Humane Society International concerns...
However, Wendy Higgins from Humane Society International says this letter from Guy is nothing new. "Those of us actually campaigning in New Zealand have dozens of such letters dating back months, all filed under 'meaningless'," she tells CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com.
"These are pro forma statements made time and again and they absolutely don't signify a change in policy or practice. In fact, the campaign on the ground in New Zealand #BeCrueltyFree - is still very much active, and the politicians we are working with on the ground have been very frustrated and concerned by this CFI press release because it in no way reflects the ongoing campaign and appears to let the government off the hook at precisely the time when we need to hold its feet to the fire," says Wendy.
"We remain of the view that a test ban in NZ is essential, and carefully worded letters from Nathan Guy don't change that," she concludes.