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Are animals used for cosmetics testing in Australia?

Article ID: 399
Last updated: 21 Aug, 2012
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There is no testing of cosmetics involving animals conducted in Australia. However, the majority of cosmetic products sold here will contain ingredients that will have been tested on animals at some time. Cosmetic products include make-up and skin-care products as well as soaps, shower gels, deodorants, shampoos, toothpastes, sunscreens and similar products.

Campaigns in other countries where cosmetics testing has been carried out have resulted in the phasing out of the use of animals to test both the final products and their ingredients: in the UK both types of testing have been banned since 1998, and in the EU since 2009. However, testing continues to be permitted in other countries where cosmetics are developed and produced, such as the US.

While the use of animals in cosmetics testing continues, RSPCA Australia recommends that consumers only buy products supplied by companies operating a cruelty-free policy. There are three criteria for such a policy:

  • The company manufacturing the cosmetic product does not originate, endorse or finance any form of testing on animals. This includes testing by the company themselves or through contractors at any stage of product development, production or marketing.
  • Their cosmetics must not contain ingredients tested on animals by or on behalf of the cosmetics industry, after a fixed cut-off date. This means the company uses only established ingredients which need no further animal testing, and no ingredients or products have been tested on animals for the purpose of developing the cosmetic after the stated cut-off date.
  • The policy includes a commitment to take reasonable steps to achieve a reduction in, and eventual ending of animal use in industry. Funding research into humane alternatives to animals testing could be one way to help achieve this.

You can read more about cosmetics testing, cruelty-free products and the EU ban in the RSPCA UK Information Sheet The testing of cosmetics using animals

If you’re interested in purchasing cruelty-free cosmetic products in Australia, then the Choose Cruelty Free website provides information on available products.

This website provides general information which must not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for specific professional advice, including veterinary advice. We make no warranties that the website is accurate or suitable for a person’s unique circumstances and provide the website on the basis that all persons accessing the website responsibly assess the relevance and accuracy of its content.
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Also read
document Why are animals used in product development?
document How is animal research controlled?
document How can I reduce or avoid animal testing?

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