Last week, The Australian senate passed a bill which effectively outlaws the testing of cosmetics on animals in the country. The law, titled as the Industrial Chemical Charges Bill 2017, was first introduced to Australia’s House of Representatives in June 2017 and agreed on in October.

The provisions of the bill are exciting. The law dictates that Australia will no longer consider the results of animal testing acceptable proof of a product’s safety, making animal-testing on cosmetic products a pointless waste of money. While not banning the practice outright, it means beauty brands must find alternative ways of testing their products. Furthermore, the bill provides support for non-animal methods of testing, to ensure cruelty-free beauty products have a future in Australia.

At first glance, this happy news seems like one of many animal rights victories. As animal rights activists continue to rack up wins against fur farming, Ivory, and Foie Gras, the Australian bill can get caught up in the noise.

However, the Australian Law is more significant than it seems. The bill sees the government commit to an agreement with made with Humane Society International, a non-governmental organization (NGO) with a global commitment to animal rights. Governments cooperating with NGOs are a vital component to a more globalized world, one with the ability to meet global challenges like Climate Change more effectively. 

Animal rights has always been every bit a global struggle as a national one. Nearly all poaching crime is  a result of international trade, and with animal habitats ignoring national borders, it’s an issue that must span cultures and languages. With more global issues seemingly on the horizon, deals like this provide a road map to success for humans, and liberation for the animals who share our planet with us.

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