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Animal Attraction: India Bans Animal Testing for Cosmetics

by Stacy Fox

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 6:18 AM

India has banned animal testing for cosmetics following intense public campaigning and legislative advocacy by Humane Society International's Be Cruelty-Free India campaign, including support from Indian Members of Parliament and State Assemblies.

The Bureau of Indian Standards approved the removal of any mention of animal tests from the country’s cosmetics standard. The use of modern non-animal alternative tests also becomes mandatory, replacing invasive tests on animals. This means that any manufacturer interested in testing new cosmetic ingredients or finished products must first seek approval from India’s Central Drug Standards Control Organisation. A manufacturer will be given approval to test only after complying with the BIS non-animal standards.

Troy Seidle, HSI's director of research and toxicology, said: “India’s decision shows the way for all countries that are still undecided about whether to ban cosmetics animal testing. Those countries should take action now, follow India’s lead and end cruelty for beauty.”

Indian Member of Parliament Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, said: “This is a great day for India and for the thousands of animals who will no longer suffer, yet more work must be done. Our government must go a step further by banning cosmetics products that are tested on animals abroad and then imported and sold here in India. Only then will India demonstrate its commitment to compassion and modern, non-animal research methods and truly be cruelty free.”

HSI celebrates the ban as a major victory for its Be Cruelty-Free campaign, which works to end animal testing for cosmetics worldwide. The next step for Be Cruelty-Free in India is to achieve a follow-up ban on selling cosmetics newly tested on animals in other parts of the world. A sales ban will prevent companies from outsourcing testing to third countries and importing the animal-tested beauty products back into India for sale.

Israel and the 27 countries that make up the European Union have implemented both testing and sales bans to bring an end to cosmetics animal suffering in their respective jurisdictions, and HSI is leading the campaign to persuade India to become the next fully cruelty-free cosmetics zone.

HSI led an intense and high-profile campaign to see the EU sales ban enforced, and last year launched its global Be Cruelty-Free campaign. Be Cruelty-Free is working to achieve similar victories in East Asia, Canada, South America, Russia, Oceania and beyond. The campaign is spearheaded in the United States by The Humane Society of the United States.

Humane Society International