National Consultation Begins to Ban Cosmetics Tested on Animals


The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Member for Sydney


Clare O’Neil MP

Member for Hotham

National consultation begins to ban cosmetics tested on animals

17 MARCH 2014


This week, Labor will begin a national consultation on phasing out the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients tested on animals.

The national consultation was foreshadowed by Labor last year.  Given her keen interest in the issue, the Member for Hotham, Clare O’Neil will help lead the process.

While there are new animal-free testing methods being developed all the time, most Australians would be surprised to learn that some companies test their cosmetics or their ingredients on animals overseas before selling them here.

In addition, some companies manufacture cosmetics in Australia using ingredients tested on animals overseas, even though the finished cosmetic products are not tested on animals domestically.

Animals shouldn’t suffer in the quest for better mascara or lipstick.

Continuing to import cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients tested on animals is out of step with current community expectations.

Over ten years, the European Union phased out the importation and marketing of cosmetic products and their ingredients that were tested on animals.

Australia needs to play its part in the international movement against animal testing.

The ban would apply to new cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients only.

This is a complex matter, especially when we’re talking about things like imports, and dealing with a ban on cosmetic ingredients too.  To make sure we get this right, we will be working through all the issues carefully.  Legislation must drafted for best effect and we need to bring the community with us.

That’s why comprehensive consultation with animal rights groups, industry, and scientific researchers is particularly critical.

Labor has already had initial discussions with a number of key players.

Industry has confirmed that testing cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients on animals in Australia stopped many years ago, however it is not actually banned by law.  We will be consulting on that as well.

Under Australia's Constitution, each State and Territory is responsible for its own animal welfare legislation.

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