Wedged between China and the Pacific Ocean, Vietnam is often overlooked on the animal protection front. Yet, the country is certainly making progress.

Recently, Vietnam has put a stop to the illegal trafficking of dogs for human consumption and has also stepped forward to say that there is no evidence that rhino horn, traditionally thought of a “miracle cancer cure,” helps treat cancer.

As OGP’s Emily Cardiff previously reported, “Vietnam’s Ministry of Health and the Traditional Medicine Association have agreed to say ‘No’ to the use of rhino horn and other endangered species in medical and cancer treatments.”

Now, Vietnam is addressing another issue: the use of rabbits in cruel Draize eye tests for cosmetics. On May 19, the Vietnamese government announced that it will ban the use of these tests! Woohoo!

This move, which happened at the end of a testing alternatives training program funded by the nonprofit organization at the Institute of Drug Quality Control in Vietnam, was prompted by negotiations with Cruelty Free International’s director of policy, Dr. Nick Palmer.

“At a high-level meeting including key decision-makers Dr. Nguyen van Loi of the Department of Drug Administration and Professor Trinh Van Lau, Chair of the Vietnam Pharmacopeia, it was agreed to expand cooperation with Cruelty Free International to move towards official validation of the humane alternative methods,” Cruelty Free International reports.

As a result of this agreement, humane alternatives will soon become mandatory for eye testing, and other alternatives will also be developed.

“It was agreed that full validation of the non-animal method will be pressed ahead in the coming months and the old test will be prohibited thereafter,” says Cruelty Free International.

What great news out of Vietnam! Now, that’s what we call progress!

Image source: wiredwitch/Flickr