Taiwan launches bill to end animal testing of cosmetics

Taiwan launches bill to end animal testing of cosmetics

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Wang Yu- min and the Taiwan SPCA, advocating the #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan campaign, launched a bill yesterday at the Legislative Yuan to ban animal testing of cosmetics in the country.

A new opinion poll commissioned by the SPCA shows that 69.2 per cent of Taiwanese consumers want to see animal testing of cosmetics banned, and 76.5 per cent believe animals shouldn't suffer in name of beauty.

An increasing number of countries around the world have banned the use of animals in cosmetics testing, including the European Union, Norway, Israel, India and New Zealand, the SPCA stated.

Wang and the #BeCrueltyFree campaign are hoping Taiwan will be next to end animal suffering due to cosmetics testing. Wang, along with the Taiwan SPCA and Taipei Rabbit Society Association, called upon the government to act quickly in passing the bill that would make Taiwan the first country in East Asia to ban what they call cosmetics cruelty.

Details of animal testing of cosmetics was revealed at the press conference, such as the commonly used eye irritation test in which a substance is applied to a rabbit's eye to measure any ocular damage.

This test can cause painful eye swelling, and even lead to ulcers and blindness. All such tests are conducted on animals without the use of painkillers, yielding test results that are often unreliable because human and animal reactions to chemical substances can be very different, the SPCA stated.

Wang is proposing amendments to Taiwan's Control for Cosmetic Hygiene Act, which would ban cosmetic animal testing as well as the sale of cosmetics which have been newly tested on animals abroad following a three-year grace period, regardless of the current state of alternative tests.

This puts Taiwan's bill on a par with the dual test/sales ban of the European Union, and exceeds the less ambitious bill launched last month in South Korea, according to the SPCA.

"Only by implementing this ban can the welfare and rights of the animals used in cosmetic testing be protected here in Taiwan," said Wang.

Animal Pain and Suffering

The Taiwan SPCA & #BeCrueltyFree Taiwan campaign coordinator Joy Liou said: "Testing cosmetics on animals causes them pain and suffering, for test results that are unreliable and don't represent modern science. Taiwan's consumers will be better protected by banning cruel and outdated animal tests..."

Taipei Rabbit Society Association representatives said, "Rabbits are very social animals that need to be in the company of other rabbits or animals. Not only are the tests they are forced to endure very painful for the rabbits, they will also suffer emotionally from not having social interactions with other rabbits."

The Taiwan SPCA along with international partner Humane Society International have been actively running the #BeCrueltyFree campaign in Taiwan for more than a year, steadily gathering petition signatures in favour of a ban, and gaining the support of 19 legislators and 23 cosmetic companies so far that back a change in the law, said the SPCA.

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