good news on animal testing

Another late item, as I’m going through stuff I’d skim-read rapidly last month and bookmarked or vaguely saved.

Taking the lead: India becomes first South Asian country to ban animal testing for cosmetics” (India Today, 2013-06-28)

In a historic decision, hailed by activists, animal lovers and environmentalists, India has banned animal testing for cosmetics.

In a decision of rare unanimity, the Bureau of Indian Standards has decided to remove animal testing as a legal and legitimate standard for cosmetics. Going a step further, to avoid exploitation of loopholes, the Bureau has also made alternative non-animal tests mandatory.

Supporting the decision, MP 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.”

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals(PETA), also hailed the ruling, saying, “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.”

As per the new rules, 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.

However, this is not the end of the road and will not completely eradicate animal testing. The ban will actually achieve its full goal of preventing animal cruelty if a follow-up ban on selling cosmetics newly tested on animals in other parts of the world is put into place. A sales ban will prevent companies from outsourcing testing to third countries and importing the animal-tested beauty products back into India for sale.

Internationally, Israel and all the 27 EU countries are the only ones to have implemented both testing and sales bans, comprehensively.

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