Banning animal testing of cosmetics in a win-win for everybody. So what's the catch? Well, in reality there isn't one, but the New Zealand Government is dragging its feet nonetheless. It claims that cosmetics animal testing no longer takes place in the country because New Zealand's licensing system wouldn't permit it. But that claim simply isn't verifiable. New Zealand doesn't have a transparent reporting system for the tests it allows. While the numbers are likely to be on the low side, it's highly doubtful that no cosmetics testing takes place at all. But the real issue is that without a clear ban in place, there is always the risk that cosmetics animal testing could increase in the future. In fact, for as long as countries like New Zealand rely on licensing committees to decide on a case by case basis whether or not to permit animal tests for cosmetics, that risk remains very real.
Cosmetics animal testing is a global problem. The beauty industry is multi-national and so must be the solution to stop the suffering. Every country must play its part in eradicating cosmetics cruelty, whether it's a handful of animals or hundreds who are suffering for beauty in its laboratories. The 28 countries of the Europe Union, as well as Norway, Israel and India have all banned cosmetics animal testing and the trade in cruel cosmetics, and every country that follows suit sends a clear message worldwide that testing make-up on animals is unacceptable. That's vital conceptually but also practically - as more and more countries ban this cruel practice, some companies will look to shift their animal testing to countries where there is no ban, countries like New Zealand.