Australia is implementing a ban on cosmetic testing on animals (the ban). The ban commenced on 1 July 2020 along with the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019. It means new ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics that are manufactured in, or imported into Australia cannot use information from animal testing to prove safety.
A stakeholder advisory group comprising representatives from the cosmetics industry, animal welfare organisations, researchers and Government supported the ban's roll-out.
The Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals Implementation Advisory Group met four times over a 12-month period. The group provided expert guidance and feedback to the Department of Health about non-legislative components of the ban’s implementation.
The Department of Health chairs the Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals Implementation Advisory Group. There are seven stakeholder members:
- Accord Australasia
- Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists
- Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
- Humane Society International
- Office of Chemical Safety (Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme)
- National Health and Medical Research Council
- RSPCA Australia.
The group met at key points throughout the ban’s implementation.
May 2020 meeting
The first Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals Implementation Advisory Group was held on 6 May 2020. The meeting discussed preparations for the ban’s commencement. This included plans for:
- Communicating the ban and the commencement of the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme.
- Developing a Voluntary Industry Code for the cosmetics industry in relation to promotional claims about animal testing.
The meeting also considered alternatives to animal testing to demonstrate chemical safety, in the context of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Information paper: The implementation of the 3Rs in Australia.
October 2020 meeting
The second Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals Implementation Advisory Group was held on 21 October 2020.
Members were updated on progress in relation to a communication package being developed to support the ban’s implementation. The National Retail Association is partnering with the Department to deliver this initiative. The package is expected to be launched in early 2021.
Members reviewed the draft Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Cosmetics Industry, which is being developed by the peak body for the cosmetics and personal care industry, Accord Australasia.
Members also noted the commencement of the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme and progress towards updating the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, including a public consultation round led by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
February 2021 meeting
The third Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals Implementation Advisory Group meeting was held on 10 February 2021. The meeting primarily focused on the communication package to support the ban.
Communication products being delivered by the National Retail Association were presented to members. Products include a suite of videos, post cards and a Ban on Cosmetic Testing on Animals website.
The National Retail Association also updated members about an Australia-wide tour of retail precincts underway to inform retailers of cosmetics about the ban. The retail tour is taking place from February to May 2021.
March 2021 meeting
The fourth Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals Implementation Advisory Group meeting was held on 22 March 2021. The purpose of this meeting was to review and discuss a voluntary code of practice for the cosmetics industry that had been developed by Accord.
The voluntary industry code aims to guide consistency and provide clarity regarding ‘not tested on animals’ terms and claims, used by the cosmetics industry. The development of this voluntary industry code was part of the government’s commitment for implementing the ban on cosmetic testing on animals and it received support from all members of the group present at the meeting.
The group also discussed the delivery of the communication package led by the National Retail Association, and updates to the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, led by the National Health and Medical Research Council.