RSPCA welcomes promise of cruelty-free cosmetics

The RSPCA is encouraging all political parties to match Labor’s election promise to undertake national consultation on banning the importation, manufacture, sale and advertising of all new cosmetics, toiletries or their ingredients that have been tested on animals. 

“This important step will mean Australian consumers will no longer be contributing to the unjustifiable use of animals in the development of cosmetics and toiletries. There are more than enough ingredients already developed for these products – and no need to subject any more animals to distressing and painful tests just to allow cosmetic companies to market ‘new and improved’ product lines on Australian shelves,” said Ms Heather Neil, RSPCA Australia CEO.

“The Australian public does not support animal testing in cosmetics, but they are also concerned about the number of animals used in research and testing more broadly. Many Australians believe much more needs to be done to reduce animal use and encourage the uptake of non-animal alternatives. This view is supported by many in the research and animal welfare community, but progress has been severely hindered by a lack of incentives and funding.

“The RSPCA believes that Australia urgently needs a national, coordinated approach to reduce animal use and to investigate, develop and validate alternatives to animals in research and testing.

“Between 4 and 5 million animals are used for scientific and educational purposes in Australia every year, yet there is currently no dedicated government funding for developing alternatives to animals.

“Active support and implementation of a national strategy for alternatives to animal use is essential to maintaining public support for medical research and product testing in Australia.

“The RSPCA is urging all political parties to support the development of a national strategy for alternatives and to commit to the establishment of a national centre to implement the 3Rs (the principles of refinement, reduction and replacement in animal-based research),” said Ms Neil.

Media contact: Elise Meakin, 0419 748 907,

Editor’s note: For more information on the use of animals in cosmetic testing see: