From November 13 2014, the import of animal-tested cosmetics will be officially banned, according to the notification in the Gazette of India announced by Indian Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The notification states, “Prohibition of import of cosmetics tested on animals. - No cosmetic that has been tested on animals after the commencement of Drugs and Cosmetics (Fifth Amendment) Rules, 2014 shall be imported into the country”. The announcement comes just a few months after India banned domestic animal testing of cosmetics. The new announcement assures that cosmetics marketed in India will no longer be associated with animal suffering and makes India the first cruelty-free cosmetics zone in South Asia.
“This is a huge achievement that could not have been possible without the compassion of our government, consumers and industry.” says Alokparna Sengupta, HSI Indian campaigns manager, “We feel confident that if this vision is applied to other areas of product testing, this can be a defining moment in the modernization of India’s safety science, with potentially hundreds of thousands more animals spared pain and suffering.”
Dr Chaitanya Koduri, PETA Science Policy Adviser, holds a view that the import ban is a message to the whole world that India will not tolerate blinding bunnies for shampoo, mascara and other ‘beauty’ products. “We applaud the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for looking out for animals’ interests and for championing modern science.”
With the dual test and import ban, India is now in the same league as the European Union and Israel and should serve as a role model for other regions looking to implement cruelty free regulatory frameworks.
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