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Cosmetics Testing On Animals Will Be Banned In Australia

The federal government announced the new policy today, which was immediately criticised by Labor MPs for its similarity to a bill introduced back in February.

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The federal government announced plans to ban the sale of cosmetic products in Australia that have been tested on animals.

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The new policy, which will be implemented if the Coalition is re-elected, bans the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients that have been tested on animals, as well as the the testing of finished cosmetic products on animals in Australia.

"Having worked hard on this important issue, I'm glad to see it through to fruition," said Nationals senator Fiona Nash. "Australians don't want to see animals hurt unnecessarily. This brings us into line with the EU and produces consistent streamlined policy."

Assistant health minister Ken Wyatt said that while the new policy will stop cosmetic products being tested on animals in Australia, there are no plans to block animal testing for medicinal clinical trials and drug development.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

"We acknowledge animal testing is essential in certain scientific contexts such as medicinal drug development but we want to make sure that it's only used in ethically justifiable circumstances," he said.

The RSPCA applauded the Coalition's policy, calling it a "reprieve for thousands of animals".

"It's estimated that around 27,000 animals are still being used for cosmetic testing every year," said RSPCA Australia's chief scientist Dr Bidda Jones.

"RSPCA Australia has been consulting with all political parties on this issue for several years, and we have overwhelming support from Australians."

However, the Labor party's shadow assistant minister for health, Stephen Jones, was critical of the Coalition's choice to announce their policy during the election - calling it "the most cynical, cynical, cynical thing you can imagine".

Cynical politics 101. Feb 2016 @ClareONeilMP introduces cosmetic testing bill. No response from Govt, yet today they announce own policy!

In February this year the Labor party introduced its own cosmetic testing policy, the Ethical Cosmetics Bill 2016.

"We did a 12-month consultation on this," Jones told BuzzFeed News. "Everybody knew. We introduced a private members bill and heard crickets from the Coalition."

"We have been talking with industry for over 12 months."

In May, Labor announced plans to establish an independent Office of Animal Welfare if elected, as well as an independent Inspector-General of animal welfare.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at

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