A new Bill seeks to amend two acts related to cosmetic testing on animals in the country. The amendments aim to ban the sale and manufacturing of cosmetics that were tested on an animal and to criminalise cosmetics animal testing.
While there are no known laboratories in South Africa where animal testing for cosmetics is currently taking place, the country does sell products from brands like Maybelline, Clinique and Elizabeth Arden that still test on animals.
New technologies have emerged in recent years that have replaced the need for animal testing in the cosmetics industry. This means there are non-animal methods for the most commonly required safety tests, many of which are internationally recognised.
“It is necessary for the South African government to step in and not only give effect to the recognition of sentience of animals by our judiciary, but also to improve the level of protection that animals are afforded in South Africa.
“South Africa, a country that is on the forefront when it comes to the recognition and protection of human rights, was scored an ‘E’ by World Animal Protection. This international NGO found South Africa lacking in respect of its commitment to improve and allocate resources to animal welfare, as well as in respect of developing laws to provide for sufficient protection of animals.”
The draft proposes to alter the definition of ‘cosmetic’ in the Animal Protection Act. It further provides for a new offence to be included in the Animals Protection Act related to the testing of a cosmetic or part of, or ingredient of, a cosmetic on an animal.
The Bill provides for an exception in respect of parts or ingredients that were tested on an animal for a purpose that was not related to the inclusion of that part or ingredient in a cosmetic, as parts or ingredients of cosmetics may also be used in medicines and disinfectants.
It also proposes an offence be created for the selling or manufacturing of a cosmetic that has been tested on an animal in the Republic. It is also proposed to exclude the special defence created by section 6 of that Act from applying to the offence of selling or manufacturing any cosmetic, which has been tested on an animal in the Republic. A similar exception related to tests on parts or ingredients not intended for use in a cosmetic will also be included in this Act.