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Australia Bans Testing Cosmetics on Animals!

By now, we all know that testing new cosmetic products is terrible, and we hope that there must be a way to test products out without endangering poor defenseless animals. It is an archaic, unnecessary process that leads to millions of animal deaths through poisoning, shocking, and burning.

One more country is set to get rid of this unethical practice once and for all – Australia.

 One bill to change a lot

Recently, a bill was proposed to the House of Representatives in Australia to ban testing industrial chemicals intended for cosmetic use. The proposed bill, if passed, would affect a variety of products because the term “cosmetics” can apply to anything that is used on the body from shampoos and soaps to perfumes.  It is unknown how many cosmetics companies would have to change their work policy since saying that they test on animals isn’t something to be wished for. However, this ban would undoubtedly influence a lot of those companies and to some extent diminish cruelty towards animals.

 Why do people still test on animals?

It is a widely known fact that this kind of testing has been opposed by the public for decades now. Nonetheless, it remains that some products have to be tested to check some potentially dangerous cosmetic ingredients. As new ingredients are added to these products often, it is important to know if they are safe to use. Some countries, like China, had even required all the testing of cosmetics to be done on animals, although they recently changed their policies for non-specialized products such as hair, skin and nail care products such as perfumes and makeup.

 “He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”  ― Immanuel Kant 

 Countries that have already banned this kind of testing

The first country to ever ban testing on animals was Germany back in 1986. Afterward, other European countries followed Germany’s footsteps. The whole European Union imposed the ban in 2004; in 2009, it expanded this ban in 2009 to ingredients, not just the final product. The ban on importing cosmetic products tested on animals came through in 2013.

Since then, other countries that have imposed the ban are Norway, New Zealand, Turkey, Taiwan, Israel, India, South Korea and some parts of Brazil. The United States is considering a ban as well, which would drastically diminish the market for manufacturers who are still using animal testing.

 Where does Australia stand?

Unfortunately, up until July 2018, animal testing will be legal and required in Australia when it comes to some ingredients. According to the Department of Health, dome new ingredients are best if tested for potential toxicity on animals. However, most of the ingredients used in these types of products have already been tested; therefore, there is no need to test them again.

As for others, new means of testing are currently being developed, such as clinical trials on humans and the use of skin samples from cosmetic surgery to test penetration levels. New-age scientists have developed humane, modern, and effective non-animal research methods, including human-based micro-dosing, in vitro technology, human-patient simulators, and sophisticated computer modeling. These methods are cheaper, faster, and more accurate than animal tests.

When it comes to cosmetics, there is more harm to animals from these tests than the benefit to humans. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves whether it is really worth it. Australia’s cosmetics industry may not be large now, but it is rapidly growing, especially in body, hair, and anti-aging products. As soon as this bill passes, it will be noted internationally, and the list of countries with this ban will hopefully keep on growing. One small step for Australia could be one giant leap for the rights of animals everywhere.

 How can you help?

Every individual can make a difference, no matter how big or small. One thing a person can do is donate their body to science through programs such as Anatomy Gifts Registry. Also, one could donate money to charities that are cruelty-free.

Maybe you could go down to your local animal shelter and adopt an animal. Some companies purchase homeless animals from shelters to do their experiments on, so you can help at least one animal, and at the same time get a new fuzzy best friend to play with and to love.

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