At Parliament, animal rights groups have handed over a 15,500-signature petition calling on Prime Minister John Key to ‘hop to it’ and ban animal testing for cosmetics.
Accompanied by actor Michelle Langstone from The Almighty Johnsons and campaigners dressed as bunnies, they handed over the ‘Be Cruelty-Free’ petition to Green Party MP Mojo Mathers.
Ms Mathers accepted the petition on parliament’s forecourt this afternoon.
“Animal testing is the ugly underbelly of the beauty industry,” she said.
‘Cruel, painful and completely unnecessary’
“It is cruel, painful and completely unnecessary as there are modern, smart alternatives.”
Ms Mathers says the European Union and India have banned animal testing for cosmetics.
“It’s time for New Zealand to step up and end this unethical and cruel practice.
(Mr Key was invited to accept the petition but declined.)
SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation)and Humane Society International (HSI)representatives led the protest group.
SAFE and HSI work in partnership as the New Zealand arm of the global Be Cruelty-Free campaign, the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics cruelty.
The Be Cruelty-Free petition asks the government to ban animal testing for cosmetics as part of the current review of New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act.
‘Unethical and scientifically unreliable.
SAFE and HSI believe that subjecting rabbits, mice and other animals to tests that involve cosmetic chemicals being dripped into their eyes or fed to them in high doses is both unethical and scientifically ‘nreliable.
SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter says New Zealand must urgently re-evaluate its position on cosmetics animal testing.
She says: “With bans on this practice in place in Europe, Israel and most recently, India, we believe New Zealand is lagging behind the times on this issue.
“Are we less ethical than other parts of the world? It is absolutely clear that people do not want to see animals subjected to cruel and unnecessary tests for the sake of trivial and frivolous means and that this must be enshrined in law.”
There is no legal ban in New Zealand preventing cosmetic companies from testing their cosmetic products or ingredients on animals.
As companies are not required to submit information on what tests they conduct, the extent of such testing is hidden from public view. Recently a new “anti-wrinkle” cream that had been developed and tested in New Zealand, including tests on mice and rats, went on the national market.
Across the globe, hundreds of cosmetic companies produce safe, innovative beauty products without animal testing. Instead they demonstrate product safety by combining cutting-edge non-animal testing methods with the use of existing ingredients with long histories of use in cosmetics.
Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign director, Troy Seidle, says: “Our Be Cruelty-Free campaign was instrumental in achieving the world’s largest cruelty-free cosmetics zone in Europe, as well as the recent cosmetics animal testing ban in India. New Zealand can be the next country to ‘be cruelty-free’ by closing its borders to animal-tested cosmetics and banning such testing domestically.”
SAFE and HSI are calling for New Zealand to join the EU and Israel in introducing a dual ban ending both cosmetics animal testing and the sale of products newly animal-tested overseas.