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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 overseas, and those products end up on Australian shelves.

An estimated 27,000 live rabbits, mice, rats 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 already considered safe and available to producers of cosmetics products, so there’s no excuse for any more animals to suffer.

In 2019, the Australian Government passed legislation that aimed to end animal testing for new cosmetic ingredients. However, the legislation only applies to chemicals used solely for cosmetic purposes. This means that chemical ingredients used in cosmetics, and for some other purpose like a household cleaning product, can still be tested on animals.

This loophole must be closed to ensure that no new ingredients that are used in cosmetic products can be tested on animals.

What needs to change

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

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).