Cape Town - Animal rights organisation Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC), which advocated for the ban on cosmetic animal testing years ago, said it is inspired by the progress made on Bill 470 of 2020.
This follows a Parliamentary programming committee meeting last week where it was confirmed that the “Cosmetics Testing Bill” was to be dealt with later this year.
The organisation aims to amend the Animals Protection Act of 1962 and the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics, and Disinfectants Act of 1972 to prohibit the sale and manufacturing of cosmetics that were tested on an animal in the country, and to criminalise the testing of cosmetics on animals.
BWC chairperson Toni Brockhoven said the Private Member’s amendment bill was presented in 2018, but ended up on the back burner, and was streamlined and had to be represented.
She said should the bill be passed, South Africa would be the first on the continent to do this.
“The bill shouldn't be contentious and is not complicated. While animal use will come to an end only partly because of ethical issues, ultimately the reasons for the change are irrelevant.
“Besides immense and cruel suffering inflicted on non-humans, animal use is expensive, time-consuming, inaccurate – factors include animal stress and location, and, as mentioned by scientists around the globe, not particularly good at predicting human risk,” she said.
Cape Animal Welfare Forum (CAWF) chairperson Karen de Klerk said the cosmetic industry must devise new ways of creating desirable cruelty-free products, and not condone the senseless suffering of countless animals in the name of vanity.
De Klerk urged the government to act timeously to have the legislation passed.
ACDP MP Steve Swart who tabled the Animal Protection Amendment Bill in 2020 said while cosmetic testing does not take place in South Africa, this would send a powerful message that it would never be tolerated. Swart said this was the case in New Zealand where such a pre-emptive law was passed.
“There are shocking reports of the cruelty endured by animals in scientific research. Sadly, we only score an “E” on the World Animal Protection index – indicating that we need to improve the level of protection for animals in the country,” he said.