New Zealand MPs have unanimously voted on the ban on animal testing for cosmetic products in the country. The government succumbed to pressure from the animal rights groups and the Opposition.
The decision to ban animal testing comes after the Green Party and animal rights advocates lobbied for a year to criminalise cosmetics testing on guinea pigs and rabbits. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has added the change in legislation to the Animal Welfare Bill that is currently before the Parliament.
Guy said he agreed with the New Zealand Greens that the ban on animal testing was a good idea. Parliament is expected to resume debate on the bill. He said animal testing is a “very important issue for New Zealanders.”
Greens MP Mojo Mathers, who has worked to have animal testing banned, said the government would not have supported it without pressure from the campaigners. She added that it New Zealand can now declare it had banned a “cruel and outdated” practice. RadioNZ reports that the bill still has to pass its third and final reading before it becomes official.
New Zealand Herald notes that about 90 percent of the cosmetics sold in New Zealand come from abroad. Animal rights groups are campaigning for a ban on imported products that conduct animal testing. The Cosmetic Association shares the same view and said the next step in banning animal testing would be imposing import regulations.
Garth Willie, the association’s executive director, said the change in legislation will not have a big impact in the country. He added that since the legislation is aligned with the European Union, an import ban is possible in New Zealand.
The ban on animal testing in New Zealand is the latest in the global trend. Countries like Norway, India and the EU states have banned the use of animal testing in cosmetics. The banned practice includes force-feeding animals with chemicals. Animal rights groups believe the animals that are forced to ingest chemicals feel distress and severe pain.
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