Cape Town – Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) South Africa has initiated an amendment to the Animal Protection Act that would ban cosmetics testing on animals.
Chairperson Toni Brockhoven said it believed some cosmetics houses have been lying to the public about testing on animals.
She said there was an assumption that animal testing for cosmetics does not take place in South Africa.
But because of a loophole in the system, although products might not be tested on animals, the ingredients might be, she said.
BWC hopes to prohibit the sale and manufacture of cosmetics final products and ingredients which were tested on animals in South Africa and to criminalise the testing of cosmetics on animals.
“Every single brand on the market says that they do not test on animals. Even if you look in the small print, it says sometimes they have to comply with local laws. They are choosing to use the ingredients which by law need to be animal-tested,” said Brockhoven.
The animal rights group is concerned that as other countries around the world begin to shut down cosmetic testing on animals, businesses will flock to SA to carry out tests.
The organisation stressed that there are many established, reliable, cost-effective, non-animal methods which are modern and reliable.
Animal testing does not work and does not save human lives, said Brockhoven.
BWC started the new year by reinvigorating the proposal and submission of the private member’s amendment bill related to the animal testing ban that will be gazetted in the first half of this year.
The proposal carried out by former ACDP leader Cheryllyn Dudley in 2017 was on behalf of the animal rights group.
The animal rights activists aim to amend the Animals Protection Act of 1962 and the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act of 1972.
The ACDP’s Steve Swart said the private member’s bill needed to be introduced again due to being put on the back-burner.
“The ACDP caucus agreed that I could continue with this work. I had discussions with parliamentary advisers who assisted in finalising a new draft bill.
“I trust that the bill will be supported by all political parties as we understand that no cosmetic testing takes place in South Africa,” he said.
South Africa spokesperson for Lush Kate Lynch told the Weekend Argus that the business did not accept animal testing.
She said it maintained and upheld a policy of not testing cosmetics on animals.
“Through our interactions with our customers both in stores and via social media we are aware just how important this policy is to South Africans and how much significance is placed on this value,” she said.
According to a MAC Cosmetics representative, the company does not own any animal-testing facilities and had never asked others to test on animals for them.
However, it admitted that some governments conducted animal testing to prove safety before they would allow the cosmetics company to distribute its products.
“MAC has never tested on animals and we continue to be a leader in the movement to end animal testing globally,” said the representative.
It said none of its products in South Africa sold through authorised channels had been tested on animals.
Beauty blogger Lauren Niekerk, also known as @Glossgurublog on Instagram, didn’t agree with testing beauty products on animals.
She said before she began blogging she had had very little idea as to which brands tested on animals and which were cruelty-free.
“After taking the initiative I realised the extent of just how cruel animal testing is and made a choice to try and change to cruelty-free products,” she said.