It’s official: Australian Government passes bill to end animal testing for cosmetics

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

It’s official: Australian Government passes bill to end animal testing for cosmetics
The Australian senate just passed a bill to effectively ban cosmetic testing on animals in Australia in a move that has been described as a ‘huge win’ for animals, consumers and science.

The government's Industrial Chemicals Bills 2017, includes measures to prohibit reliance on new animal test data for chemicals introduced into Australia for use as ingredients in cosmetics.

“This ban reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics cruelty, and the will of the Australian public which opposes using animals in the development of cosmetics,” ​said Hannah Stuart, HSI Campaign Manager for #BeCrueltyFree Australia.

We thank the Government for showing leadership on this important issue, and HSI will continue to work with them to implement the commitments and enforce a robust ban. This is a huge win for animals, consumers and science.”

Pushing for a complete ban

HSI reached an agreement with the government on Monday, Stuart told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.

The government committed to 11 reinforcing measures to ensure that all cosmetic ingredients were captured by the ban. Additionally, it agreed to funding support for the development of modern non-animal test methods.

Stuart said: “Basically, we were able to support the bill on the basis that they were about to incorporate reinforcing measures and commit to us so that the ban was a complete ban rather than a partial ban.”

The new commitments by the Government came as a product of nearly three years of intensive negotiations with HSI, said Stuart. “Really, passage through the senate of the bill, came down to us securing these commitments this week to address the concerns of the animal welfare community had with the propose ban.”

Stuart added that negotiations to secure the passage of the bill were made possible through “overwhelming” public and cross-party support of #BeCrueltyFree Australia's campaign for national ban on cruel cosmetics.

In particular, HSI highlighted the support of key Coalition MPs Jason Wood and Steve Irons, as well as Senate amendment and motion co-sponsors Labour, the Greens, Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff, Senator Derryn Hinch, and Senator Tim Storer.

Commencement date set for 2020

Stuart said all that’s left are the “formalities” and that the bill could become a law in as quickly as a week.

However, the commencement date for the bill is still set for July 2020 to allow give the industry time to comply with the new schemes.

However, Stuart expressed that HSI believes the industry does not need a year-long grace period.

“The government itself has already said they want early wins to take effect as soon as possible. The ban was announced three years ago and the industry has had three years notice. We don’t see the need for an extra year of a phase in period,”​ she said.

HIS would welcome moving the date forward, however, Stuart is unsure if the government comply with its request.

“It’s possible, but at the moment it is set for July 2020. The main achievement is that it has been passed and there definitely won’t be any delays beyond 2020. That’s positive.”

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