The New Zealand government is now legally required to consider banning cosmetic testing on animals in the review of the Animal Welfare Act. As nonprofit animal rights organization SAFE reports, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers introduced an amendment to the New Zealand Parliament that would make animal cosmetic testing an offense punishable by law.

New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act 1999 already imposes restrictions on animal testing, but does not specifically mention cosmetic testing. The Supplementary Order Paper proposed by Mathers amends the Animal Welfare Amendment bill to expressly prohibit the use of animals in cosmetic-related experiments. The amendment has already gone through extensive inspection; all that remains is for the government to approve and sign the bill.

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This new proposed legislation can be partially credited to efforts by Be Cruelty-Free NZ, a campaign led by SAFE and Humane Society International. SAFE has long campaigned for a cosmetics testing ban, and is no doubt thrilled that these concerns are finally being considered by the national government.

“For some time, the government has known that the world is moving away from cosmetic testing on animals. Now they have an opportunity to make sure New Zealand keeps up,” says SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter. “New Zealand’s reputation is increasingly coming under scrutiny from overseas, and it is difficult to see how failing to ban cruel cosmetics testing would go unnoticed.”

“More importantly, a ban would ensure that animals do not have to suffer horrific deaths for the sake of cosmetic products. Animal testing involves some of the most horrific cruelty imaginable, and there really is no excuse.”

The proposed ban would be the latest in a global trend towards cruelty-free cosmetics and other products. India, Israel, Brazil’s Sao Paulo, and 28 member states of the European Union have all banned the testing of cosmetics on animals. Anti-animal testing legislation is currently under discussion in Australia, Brazil, South Korea, and the United States. Residents of any country may message the New Zealand party leaders here and urge officials to support the cosmetics testing ban.

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Image Source: Novartis AG/Flickr

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