THOUGHT COSMETIC TESTING WAS A THING OF THE PAST?
The #BeCrueltyFree Australia Campaign is a partnership between Humane Research Australia and Humane Society International that is calling on the Government to make Australia the next country that says no to cruel cosmetics.
#BeCrueltyFree Australia believes that testing the ingredients of cosmetics like mascara and shampoo on living creatures is a completely unnecessary cruelty, and that it’s time Australia joined a growing number of countries by banning it.
Without a comprehensive legal ban there is nothing to prevent cosmetics animal testing taking place here in Australia, or overseas during development of products sold in our shops. Such bans are already in place in more than 30 countries globally. A ban in Australia would be good for animals, consumers, and science, and it’s what the overwhelming majority of Australian citizens want.
It's time to put Australia on the map as a country that says NO to cosmetics cruelty.
About the Be Cruelty-Free Australia Campaign
Be Cruelty-Free Australia is calling for:
- A ban on new animal testing for cosmetic products or their ingredients in Australia
- A ban on the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals or containing newly animal-tested ingredients
- The overwhelming majority of Australians (85%) oppose animal testing on cosmetics, and support banning the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics (81%)
- Cosmetics animal testing causes animals great harm, significant pain and distress, and, often, death
- Human biology-based non-animal testing methods can provide faster, cheaper, and more relevant results for consumer protection - there is a compelling consumer safety benefit in moving away from animal testing
- Cosmetics animal testing bans can spur research and development of 21st century testing methods, potentially generating economic growth
Key Achievements So Far
- August 2017 - #BeCrueltyFree Australia is called as an expert witness to the Senate Inquiry public hearing, and outlines why amendments are required for an effective ban. The Senate Inquiry releases its report. #BeCrueltyFree Australia's recommended amendments are introduced into the Senate.
- June 2017 - #BeCrueltyFree Australia makes a submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Government's bill, outlining recommended amendments to ensure the bill bans all new cosmetic animal testing for cosmetics purposes, not just some.Read the submission here.
- June 2017 - #BeCrueltyFree Australia welcomes the Government's bill, but urges amendments to ensure ban is comprehensive and meets EU and international precedents.Read more here.
- May 2017 - 2017-18 Federal Budget Commits Funding for Australia to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing and Trade - but #BeCrueltyFree Australia warns loopholes must be closed for an effective ban. Read more here.
- June 2016 - Following a 4 year campaign by #BeCrueltyFree Australia, the Federal Government pledged to ban the testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals in Australia and the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients that have been tested on animals outside of Australia. Read more here
- February 2016 - The Australian Labor Party introduced legislation to ban cosmetics animal testing in Australia and the import and manufacture of newly animal-tested cosmetic products and their ingredients. The Ethical Cosmetics Bill was drafted following months of campaigning by #BeCrueltyFree Australia. Read more here.
- Jan 2016 - Seven of Australia’s leading animal protection organisations – Humane Society International, Humane Research Australia, Animals Australia, World Animal Protection, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Voiceless the animal protection institute, and Choose Cruelty Free – wrote an urgent open letter to the Minister for Rural Health, Senator Fiona Nash, urging the government to bring forward meaningful legislation to ban animal testing of cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics newly animal tested abroad. Read more here. Read more here.
- September 2015 - A motion in support of ending cruel animal testing for cosmetics was moved in the House of Representatives by Government MP Jason Wood. The cross-party motion was seconded by Liberal MP Steve Irons, with the support of Labor MPs Kelvin Thompson and Melissa Parke, and Greens MP Adam Bandt. The motion was drafted following discussions with #BeCrueltyFree Australia. Read more here.
- November 2014 - Be Cruelty-Free Australia Worked with Liberal Senator Ruston and all co-sponsoring parties to achieve the passing of a cross-party Senate motion in support of ending animal testing for cosmetics. The motion was co-sponsored by Liberal Senator Anne Ruston, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Labor Senator Lisa Singh, Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan, Independent Senator Glenn Lazarus, Palmer United Party Senator Zhenya Wang, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, and Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir. Read more here.
- September 2014 - Be Cruelty-Free Australia made a detailed submission to the Australian Labor Party's Cosmetics and Animal Testing Policy Consultation, calling for a ban on the importation, manufacture, and sale of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals. The consultation received over 13,000 submissions, 92% of which supported a ban on cruel cosmetics. Labor is now in the process of developing policy options in response to this evidence of overwhelming support. To view Be Cruelty-Free Australia's submission just click here:
Be Cruelty-Free Australia Submission to the Labor Party (1434KB)
- March 2014 - Be Cruelty-Free Australia worked with the Australian Greens Party to help launch the End Cruel Cosmetics Bill. The Bill 2014 was introduced into the Senate on March 18th 2014. This legislation would amend the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the ICNA Act) to prohibit developing, manufacturing, selling, advertising or importing into Australia cosmetics, or ingredients for cosmetics, which have been tested on live animals after the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Bill. Read more here.
This progress towards prohibiting cosmetics animal testing in Australia reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics animal testing and the will of Australians who oppose using animals for the development of cosmetics. Be Cruelty-Free Australia's discussions with politicians, regulators, and industry are ongoing.
Jazzy the guinea pig wants Australia to #BeCrueltyFree
Jazzy the guinea pig has an important message to share about the plight of her friends who are forced to undergo cruel and outdated cosmetics animal testing just for the sake of a new shampoo or lipstick.
Australian Politicians Pledging to Be Cruelty-Free
An ever growing number of Australian politicians from all parties are voicing their support for the campaign. Over 30 MPs and Senators have pledged to #BeCrueltyFree so far.
Politicians who have pledged to #BeCrueltyFree:
Adam Bandt MP
Andrew Leigh MP
Anna Burke MP
Graham Perrett MP
Jason Wood MP
Jill Hall MP
Julie Collins MP
Kelvin Thomson MP
Mark Dreyfus QC, MP
Matt Thistlethwaite MP
Melissa Parke MP
Michelle Rowland MP
Stephen Jones MP
Tanya Plibersek MP
Senator Anne Ruston
Senator Barry O'Sulivan
Senator Catryna Bilyk
Senator Christine Milne
Senator Claire Moore
Senator Glenn Sterle
Senator Janet Rice
Senator Joanna Lindgren
Senator Lee Rhiannon
Senator Lisa Singh
Senator Penny Wright
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson
Senator Rachel Siewert
Senator Richard Di Natale
Senator Sam Dastyari
Senator Scott Ludlam
Celebrity Support of Be Cruelty-Free Australia
Vanessa Thornton, bass guitarist with Australian rock band Jebediah, used World Animal Day in 2015 to urge Australia to 'kiss cosmetics animal testing good-bye'. See media release here.
Adalita Srsen, solo artist, and lead vocalist and guitarist with Australian rock band Magic Dirt. See media release here.
Jona Weinhofen, vegan guitarist and vocalist with Australian metal band I Killed the Prom Queen. See media release here.
Australian model and animal-loving vegan, Renee Somerfield.
See media release here.
Outsourced and Neighbours actress, Pippa Black.
See media release here.
British comedian and actor Ricky Gervais.
See media release here.
Cosmetics animal testing causes animals great harm including death. Examples of animal tests performed on cosmetics ingredients include:
Acute toxicity: The test substance is pumped directly into a rat’s stomach using a syringe); animals may experience diarrhea, convulsions, bleeding from the mouth, seizures, paralysis, and ultimately, death. In fact, in order to calculate the so-called "lethal dose", death is in most cases the required endpoint.
Repeated dose toxicity: Rats or mice are force-fed a substance every day for 28 to 90 days; at the end of the experiment the animals are killed and their organs are examined.
Skin Sensitisation: The test substance is applied to the surface of the skin or injected under the skin of a guinea pig, or applied to the ear of a mouse; animals' skin may show signs of redness, ulcers, scaling, inflammation, and itchiness.
Pain relief is not provided to animals on the basis that it could interfere with test results, and the animals used are almost always killed at the end of an experiment.
Many animal tests are decades old and have inherent well known scientific weaknesses due to species-differences that make regulation based on animal tests highly questionable. Non-Animal safety testing focuses on how chemicals and medicines affect human, rather than animal, systems—eliminating problems of species and breed differences. There is a compelling consumer safety benefit in moving away from animal testing.
How companies produce new cosmetics without animal testing
Safe existing ingredients are the key. Hundreds of companies — including LUSH, Natures Organics, MooGoo, Australis, and many others such as those listed on the Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) List — have sworn off animal testing, yet still produce new, safe and fabulous beauty products. They do so by using long-established ingredients combined with state-of-the-art non-animal tests that can produce faster, cheaper and more relevant test results.
The Situation in Australia
Sadly, many people assume that this type of research is no longer conducted, and generally speaking, cosmetic and product testing does not occur in Australia.
However, animal testing for cosmetics products and ingredients is not banned under Australian law. In fact, animal testing may be required in some cases to introduce a new cosmetic product or ingredient on the Australian market. In Australia the use of animals for scientific purposes is overseen by Animal Ethics Committees, which authorise such testing based on independent interpretation of existing guidelines.
Though it is claimed that little animal testing for cosmetics takes place in Australia, this claim has never been officially substantiated. Therefore the possibility still exists that animal testing for cosmetic purposes could occur in Australia.The only way to guarantee that such animal testing will never happen in Australia, or indeed increase in the future, is to introduce a clear and robust ban.
81% of Australians agree that Australia should ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
(Source: Nexus Research Poll 2013)
A public opinion poll conducted in May 2013 by Nexus Research on behalf of Humane Research Australia found that the overwhelming majority of Australians (85%) oppose using animals to develop cosmetics and 81% support a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. Similarly, a July 2014 opinion poll by Roy Morgan Research showed that 'Not Tested on Animals' was one of the top 3 features looked for by Australian female consumers when buying cosmetics, ranking higher than anti-ageing benefits and sun protection factor.
Furthermore, in August 2014, more than thirty cosmetics companies from across Australia joined with #BeCrueltyFree to write an open letter to then Health Minister Peter Dutton urging him to support a national ban on animal testing for cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics animal-tested abroad. Cruelty-free brands backing the #Be CrueltyFree Australia campaign include LUSH, The Body Shop, Australis, Natures Organics, KORA Organics (the cruelty-free range by model Miranda Kerr), and many others.
Testing cosmetics on animals is still legal in around 80 per cent of countries globally, including Australia.
Not only would banning animal-tested cosmetics in Australia be in line with public opinion, but it would also be in tune with the growing global trend towards ending cosmetics animal testing. There are already testing and sales/imports bans in place across the EU, Norway, India and Israel, and we have also most recently seen testing bans in New Zealand and Taiwan. Elsewhere, legislative proposals are also being actively considered in Canada, Brazil, the United States and Vietnam.
What you can do:
Take action by sending an email to the Australian Government asking that they say NO to cosmetics cruelty: BeCrueltyFree.org.au
Take the pledge to #BeCrueltyFree at: hsi.org/bcfpledge
One of the easiest and most important things you can do to help end product testing is to NEVER purchase any cosmetic or household product that has been tested on animals. To find out which products are genuinely ‘cruelty free’ you can check CCF’s Preferred Product List. They also have an app you can download to ensure your list is always with you when shopping.
View HSI's infographic to learn more about the global #BeCrueltyFree campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics.
Follow @BeCrueltyFreeOz on Twitter to keep up-to-date with the Be Cruelty-Free Australia Campaign.
Media Releases and News Updates:
08-Aug-2017 'Australia animal testing: At odds with EU ban' - #BeCrueltyFree Australia proposes amendments to ensure a full ban
01-Jun-2017 Government bill moves Australia closer to ending cruel animal testing for cosmetics
12-May-2017 Federal budget commits funding for Australia to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade. BeCrueltyFree Australia warns consultation loopholes must be closed for effective ban
21-Oct-2016 Taiwan Bans Cosmetics Animal Testing
03-Jun-2016 Australia to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing & Trade, pledges Government Following #BeCrueltyFree Campaign
10-Mar-2016 Switzerland Commits to End Sale of Cruel Cosmetics
22-Feb-2016 Labor Pledge to Ban Cosmetic Animal Testing & Trade welcomed by #BeCrueltyFree Australia
28-Jan-2016 Australia's Seven Leading Animal Charities Urge Government to Ban Cruel Animal Tested Cosmetics
04-Oct-2015 Jebediah Bassist Vanessa Thornton Says Australia Must Kiss Cosmetics Animal Testing Good-Bye for WAD
21-Sep-2015 House of Representatives Motion Against Cosmetics Animal Testing Welcomed by #BeCrueltyFree Australia
09-Sep-2015 Humane Society International and H&M Collaborate on New Animal Welfare Commitments
26-Aug-2015 Russian Parliament Considering Ban on Animal Testing
11-Aug-2015 Turkey restricts animal testing of cosmetics
23-Jun-2015 #BeCrueltyFree USA Campaign Welcomes Humane Cosmetics Act to End Cosmetics Animal Testing in United States
18-Jun-2015 Senator Stewart Olsen Launches #BeCrueltyFree Bill to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing and Trade in Canada
10-Jun-2015 Industrial Chemicals Reform Brings Opportunity to Replace Animal Tests With Modern Science
24-Apr-2015 Cute Talking Guinea Pig Shares Important Message About Cosmetics Animal Testing
21-Apr-2015 Rock Musician Adalita Supports #BeCrueltyFree Australia Campaign to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing
02-Apr-2015 New Zealand Bans Cosmetics Testing on Animals – And Now It's Australia's Turn
31-Mar-2015 New Zealand Passes Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban
12-Mar-2015 #BeCrueltyFree South Korea Campaign Welcomes Cosmetics Bill Requiring Mandatory Use of Alternatives
09-Mar-2015 Australian YouTubers Join Beauty Bloggers From Around the World to Help the #BeCrueltyFree Campaign
27-Nov-2014 Australian Senate Motion Against Cosmetics Animal Testing Welcomed by #BeCrueltyFree Campaigners
10-Oct-2014 Media Release - Australian Non-Animal Skin Test for Cosmetics Welcomed by #BeCrueltyFree Campaign
07-Oct-2014 Media Release - Model Renee Somerfield Chooses Cosmetics With Compassion, Supports #BeCrueltyFree Aus
26-Sep-2014 Media Release - It’s International Rabbit Day, and Henry has a very important message
25-Aug-2014 Media Release: Cruelty-Free Companies Urge Australian Government to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing
15-Aug-2014 Be Cruelty-Free Australia Submission to Labor Consultation on Cosmetics Animal Testing
25-Jul-2014 Media Release: Australian Consumers Say ‘Not Tested on Animals’ is More Important Than Anti-Ageing
17-Apr-2014 Media Release - Be Cruelty-Free Australia Reveals Hidden Animal Suffering in Your Make-up Bag
13-Apr-2014 An important message from Henry
20-Mar-2014 OPINION: Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon’s End Cruel Cosmetics Bill 2014 answers the public’s growing opposition to animals testing
17-Mar-2014Media Release - BCF Australia Applauds Bill to End Cosmetics Testing on Animals
16-Mar-2014Greens to push for ban on cosmetics tested on animals
13-Mar-2014Media Release - Politicians Voice their Support for an End to Cosmetics Animal Testing in Australia
12-Mar-2014Media Release - Jona Weinhofen stars in Be Cruelty-Free Australia Photo Shoot
6-Mar-2014 Federal Bill to End Cosmetics Testing on Animals Introduced in Congress
24-Jan-2014Sao Paulo bans cosmetics animal testing
23-Jan-2014 New draft rule to ban animal testing for cosmetics in India
14-Jan-2014 Health ministry to amend D&C Rules to prohibit import of cosmetics tested on animals
13-Dec-2013South Korea to accept non-animal tests for functional cosmetics
21-Nov 2013 Toxicity modelling could replace 'trial and error' animal testing
29-Oct 2013 Brazil and China consider joining alternative test group
14-Oct 2013Asia shows rowing interest for alternatives
11-Oct-2013 11,000 Consumers Urge Sales Ban of Animal-Tested Cosmetics in India
01-Oct-2013 China changes law on animal testing for cosmetics
27-Sep-2013 Media Release - International Rabbit Day
06-Jul-2013 International Kissing Day
03-Jul-2013 Activists push for animal testing ban in China
29-Jun-2013 Historic ban on cosmetics animal testing in India
10-May-2013 Big Cosmetics in Little China
06-May-2013 Animal testing labelling - Choice Magazine Investigation
11-Mar-2013 European Union ban on animal-tested cosmetics comes into effect 11 March
25-Feb-2013 Media Release - Australian Beauty Industry called on to End Cosmetic Cruelty
08-Jan-2013 How international law brought back animal testing of cosmetics
04-Jan-2013 India likely to impose blanket ban on testing cosmetics on animals
03-Jan-2013 Import ban on animal-tested products goes into effect (Israel)
06-Dec-2012 The Punch - Don't give the gift of cruelty this Christmas
23-Apr-2012 International 'Be Cruelty Free' campaign launched
Factory farming causes the most suffering to the largest number of animals in Australia – almost 700 million sentient beings every year.1
What is a factory farm?
Today, very few animals roam freely on traditional farms. Most animals are confined in large industrial facilities known as factory farms. On factory farms, animals are kept in a state of permanent confinement, crammed together in cages or sheds for the entire duration of their short lives.2 Producers also use a variety of artificial methods to increase production, such as the constant administration of antibiotics, the use of artificial lighting and selective breeding.3
The purpose of intensive farming is simply to produce the most meat, eggs and dairy at the lowest possible cost. This focus on cost-cutting invariably comes at the expense of the health and welfare of individual animals whose pain and distress are often disregarded.4
Animal farming is big business
Over the past fifty years, meat consumption has increased steeply while the number of meat producers has significantly reduced. This means that most animal farming no longer happens on small family farms – it is now big business.
Australians now eat more than ten times the amount of chicken than in 1960,5 but the number of chicken farms in Australia has plummeted and over 70% of the market is now supplied by just two corporations.6 Similarly, since the early 1970s pig meat production has increased by over 50%7 while the number of pig producers has dropped from 40,0008 to just over 1,500 in 2014.9
This concentration means that individual corporations can be responsible for over one million animals at any one time.10 The sheer scale of this business transforms animals from sentient individuals into units of production.
In reality, the animals who we use for food are emotionally complex, intelligent beings with rich experiences of the world.11 Most will never see the sun, feel the earth under their feet, nurture their young, build a nest, roost, forage for food or socialise as nature intended.
Instead, they are permanently confined in cages or packed together in such large numbers that they struggle to find space to move or reach their food. On factory farms, baby animals are mutilated in sensitive painful areas without pain relief – the tails, teeth and genitalia of piglets12 and the beaks of chicks are clipped,13 as well as the horns,14 tails,15 and testicles16 of calves – because it is practical, cheap and, alarmingly, lawful to do so.
In Australia, not all animals are equal under the law: many practices which would qualify as animal cruelty if performed on a dog or cat are completely legal if performed on a pig or chicken who is being raised for food.
While each state and territory has animal cruelty legislation in place, significant exemptions exist for the treatment of farm animals. This is because the law defines the acceptable treatment of animals according to their use rather than their capacity to suffer. For example, NSW law17 makes it an offence to not provide an animal with adequate exercise except if that animal is a cow, sheep, goat, pig or chicken.
Factory farming isn’t just hurting animals
Food production has a massive negative impact on the environment, but the production of meat, dairy and, to a lesser extent, eggs have a particularly disproportionate effect on our climate and natural resources.18
In particular, livestock production has been found to significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that livestock production is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions,19 while other studies put the figure closer to 51%.20 Either way, livestock production contributes a bigger share of greenhouse gas emissions than the entire global transport sector.21
The most significant source of these greenhouse gas emissions is from methane produced by animal digestion. In Australia, this process creates about three million tonnes of methane annually. By 2022, this methane will have a greater effect on global warming than emissions from all of Australia’s coal-fired power stations combined.22
Animal agriculture also has a devastating impact on our environment because of the huge amount of water and resources it wastes. In the late 90s, agriculture consumed 70% of the total water used in Australia.23 The average ‘water footprint’ per calorie of protein from beef is six times larger than for legumes.24 Moreover, in order to produce 1kg of meat protein, an average of 6kg of plant protein is required.25
Not only is meat production wasteful in this way, it is also destructive. Around 30% of the total land surface of the planet is now used for livestock production. Meat is a key driver of deforestation, with 70% of previously forested land in the Amazon now occupied by pastures and feed crops for livestock.26
Lifting the veil
Animal industries operate with very little transparency, but there is hope.
In 2014, the ACT became the first Australian state or territory to legislate against certain factory farming practices, by prohibiting the use of cages for commercial egg production, the debeaking of chickens and the use of sow stalls and farrowing crates for pigs.27 Tasmania has also made moves to ban construction of new battery cage facilities.28 It is time for the rest of the country to follow suit.
As consumers are learning the truth behind their food, the call for change is growing louder. In 2011, 83% of Australians said they support or strongly support laws to ensure food animals have access to the outdoors, companions, natural materials and enough space to carry out their instinctive behaviour.29 Beyond the law, caring consumers have the power to end the cruelty of factory farming simply by refusing to buy into it.
You can take action against factory farming by:
- Learning more – Find out more about the factory farming of pigs, broiler chickens, battery hens and ducks.
- Making kinder choices – Make the switch to animal-free alternatives.
- Contacting your MP – Tell your MP that you support a ban on factory farming practices in your state.
- Donating to Voiceless – Help us continue to provide a voice for animals by donating today.
Last updated June 2017