Use of animals in the testing of cosmetics

NHMRC acknowledges that the use of animals in research raises important ethical questions and seeks to ensure that all animals used in research that it funds are used ethically and humanely.

NHMRC does not fund cosmetic product testing. In addition, the creation and implementation of a ban on the use of animals for the testing of cosmetic products, or the sale of products that have been tested on animals, is not a matter that falls within NHMRC’s responsibilities.

State and territory governments have primary responsibility for animal welfare and the use of animals for scientific purposes. The Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (the Code) which is developed by NHMRC is variously incorporated into all state and territory legislation. Under the Code, an Animal Ethics Committee must approve any use of animals for scientific purposes before it can commence.

While the definition of “scientific purposes” in the Code includes product testing, specific requirements related to the use of animals in cosmetic testing is the responsibility of the state and territory governments.

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