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The Issue

While cosmetic companies don’t test their products on animals here in Australia many well-known brands do test their products or ingredients on animals elsewhere in the world which then end up for sale on our shelves. An estimated 27,000 live mice, rats and rabbits are still being used for cosmetics testing across the world. Each animal experiences pain and distress. Most will be killed after the experiment.

There are already more than 20,000 chemical ingredients available to producers of cosmetics products that are considered to be safe, so there is no excuse for any more animals to suffer.

In 2017, the Australian Government introduced legislation that aimed to end animal testing for new cosmetic ingredients. However, this legislation has not passed the Australian Senate, and as currently drafted, only applies to chemicals used solely for cosmetic purposes.

Most ingredients are also used in other products, such as household cleaning products, and these multi-use ingredients could still be tested on animals. This loophole must be closed to ensure that no new ingredient in cosmetic products can be tested on animals.

RSPCA Australia's Response

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

The RSPCA has been asking the government to develop a national strategy for alternatives and the establishment of a national centre to implement the three 'R's (the principles of refinement, reduction and replacement in animal-based research).

We will continue to also call on the Australian Government to introduce legislation that will ensure no cosmetics tested on animals are manufactured or sold in Australia.

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