NZAVS position on the recent move to ban cosmetics testing in New Zealand.
Recently the Green Party announced a move that would stop animal testing of cosmetics being done in New Zealand, a call that has been supported by some animal groups in New Zealand. If successful this ban will eventually be included in the Animal Welfare Act, the legislation that governs the use of animals in research, testing and teaching in New Zealand.
We have been approached by members and supporters for our stance on this amendment. While we don’t wish to criticise anything that brings the issue of animal testing and research to the public attention for clarity’s sake we need to state why we are not devoting resources into actively promoting this amendment. This is because we do not believe it can reduce animal testing for the following reasons:
The amendment does not address the demand for animal testing by stopping the use of data from animal testing by NZ companies or government regulatory bodies.
The amendment only bans animal testing in New Zealand – it does not stop New Zealand companies simply doing animal testing overseas instead.
It does not reduce the demand for animal testing globally. Unlike the recent bans in the EU and Israel and the one proposed in Australia by their Green Party this move does not stop the import and sale of animal tested cosmetics.
None of this is possible by addressing animal testing in legislation that only governs the welfare of animals used by people in New Zealand without tying it to other legislation somehow. The legal highs ban proposed for the same legislation does this as the Psychoactive Substances Act ensures any overseas testing has to meet any restrictions in the Animal Welfare Act. There is no corresponding clause about cosmetics testing in any legislation external to the Animal Welfare Act.
NZAVS believes that the only way to stop cosmetics being tested on animals is through more substantial legislation that would also prevent the use of data from overseas animal testing and that would stop the import and sale of all animal tested cosmetics. This is the only thing that will actually stop any animal testing of cosmetics rather than just exporting any testing. Anything less risks being nothing more than a “not in my backyard” type change. We oppose all animal testing no matter where it is done.
We hope that the best possible outcome from the proposed amendment happens which is that it is used as a springboard to a substantial ban that will make a difference. This is something NZAVS will actively promote and work for and we will do our utmost to help this happen. In the meantime we feel our resources are best spent elsewhere and hope it does not distract too much from other amendments to the same legislation that will make a difference.