INDIA, ISRAEL, EU AND SAO PAULO BAN TESTING ON ANIMALS
New Delhi, India – Yesterday India followed Israel, Sao Paolo and the European Union in banning the use of testing on animals. Following an intense campaign by PETA India and MP and environmental activist Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, the Bureau of Indian Standards Committee CHD 25, which determines which tests are required for household products, decided to remove all animal tests from the requirements. This ends the testing of household products, such as cleaners and detergents as well as their ingredients, which are rubbed onto the abraded skin of guinea pigs. This statement follows hot on the heels of the landmark announcement made by the Bureau of Indian Standards PCD 19, which deals exclusively in cosmetic testing, that all testing of cosmetics on animals will not be permitted in India. Speaking at the Tregar Monastery in Bodh Gaya where an animal health camp was being inaugurated, Maneka Gandhi said “By being kind and caring to animals we would be in a position to repay the debt owed to nature.” Many prominent members of India’s politicians including Sonia Gandhi, long serving president of the Indian National Congress Party, backed the PETA-initiated campaign.
India’s announcement comes in the wake of the European Union’s and Israel’s bans on the testing of cosmetics products and their ingredients on animals, with Israel declaring that the ban will be enforced regardless of where those tests were conducted. Israel has also banned the testing of household products and their ingredients on animals as well as the sale of such products. Israel is also considering passing a bill banning the sale of fur. Pamela Anderson, a vociferous animal rights defender, who was recently on honeymoon in Israel with husband Rick Salomon, wrote a letter to the Israeli President, Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to do everything possible to help get the bill passed. Anderson stated that if Netanyahu manages to get the bill passed, Israel will become the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur.
In a similar development on the 24th January, Brazil’s most populous and richest state, Sao Paolo, announced it too will ban all cosmetic testing on animals. Sao Paulo is home to over 700 cosmetics companies and is the first Brazilian state to issue a ban on cosmetics animal testing. The ban covers both finished products and ingredients. In addition to the outright ban on testing, additional provisions include a fine of $435,000 per animal on any institution or research centre that fails to comply, double for repeat offenders and the establishment can be closed temporarily or permanently.
In March last year the EU banned cosmetic testing and ensured that labels carry the ‘leaping bunny’ logo so that consumers can be certain they are buying cruelty free beauty products. However, companies may still carry on animal testing cosmetics outside the EU as long as they are sold outside the EU.
These countries and states are the first to endorse such unprecedented moves and are throwing down the gauntlet to all other countries testing on animals. The USA still requires by law that cosmetics are tested on animals before being released into the human consumer market, while Japan demands that all human consumer chemical products may not be released unless first tested on animals.
As a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) official said, “while these are significant developments in the campaign against animal cruelty, there is still so much work ahead”, which will not cease “until we end all animal experimentation.”