The Australian Government has implemented a ban on the use of animals for cosmetic testing. The Commonwealth Department of Health managed the implementation of this ban, with the assistance of NHMRC.
As part of this initiative, NHMRC amended the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 2013 (the Code) to include a new section (Section 7), which bans the use of animals for testing of chemical ingredients in cosmetics and for testing of finished cosmetic products. The amended Code was issued by NHMRC’s CEO on 1 June 2021.
Amendment of the Code was overseen by NHMRC's Animal Welfare Committee with advice from the Code Advisory Group established under Section 39 of the National Health and Medical Research Act 1992. Public consultation on the proposed amendments was undertaken from 8 October to 20 November 2020.
In Australia, the state and territory governments have regulatory responsibility for animal welfare, including the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. While the Code is adopted into legislation in all states and territories, enforcement of any ban on the use of animals for cosmetic testing would be a matter for the state and territory governments and they would need to amend their existing animal welfare legislation.
NHMRC does not fund cosmetic testing.
‘Department of Health – Ban on cosmetic testing using animals’
Guidance documents about the implementation of Section 7: Cosmetic Testing are available on the Code publication webpage under ‘Downloads’:
- Decision tree: Use of animals for testing of chemical ingredients or products
- Scenarios: Use of animals for testing of chemical ingredients or products
- Factsheet: Cosmetics and therapeutics.
- NHMRC working committees involved with the development of the Code – See the Code information page under ‘Downloads’
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