Committing to an agreement with Humane Society International, the Senate has just passed a bill that effectively bans animal testing of industrial chemicals in Australia.
The Industrial Chemical Bill was first introduced into the House of Representatives in June 2017, and centres mostly on banning the animal testing of chemicals used for ‘cosmetics’, which are legally defined any substance used on the body or in the mouth to change its appearance, cleanse it, perfume it or protect it. In an exciting new development, the bill has just now been passed.
Although the Industrial Chemical Bill doesn’t explicitly ban animal testing, it means Australia will no longer accept animal testing as proof of a product’s safety or efficiency. It also dictates 11 measures that ensure the ban covers all cosmetic ingredients.
What’s more, the bill will fund the uptake of animal testing alternatives.
Cosmetic testing exposes animals such as mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs to harmful chemicals. Common tests include skin and eye irritation tests, widely condemned ‘lethal dose’ tests, and force feeding studies; all of which are performed without pain relief.
It’s unclear exactly how many animals will be impacted by the ban, but the bill is a major step forward in the fight against animal cruelty in Australia.