In a remarkable decision intended to prevent cruelty to animals, India has decided to ban the testing of cosmetics and its ingredients on animals. This has made India the first country in South Asia to impose such a ban.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Cosmetics Sectional Committee, chaired by the Drugs Controller General of India and is in line with the European Union’s stand. The step follows appeals from various quarters, including that from the National Advisory Council Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and campaigner for animal rights Maneka Gandhi and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to prevent cruelty to animals.
What is the ban?
Any cosmetic product which performs animal testing will face action as per provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Animal Cruelty Act. Infringement of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act by any person or corporate manager or owner is liable for punishment for a term which may extend from 3-10 years and shall also be liable to fine which could be Rs.500 to Rs.10,000, or with both.
The law also makes it mandatory to use modern non-animal alternative tests, replacing invasive tests on animals. It implies that any manufacturer interested in testing new cosmetic ingredients or finished products must first get the approval from India’s regulator Central Drug Standards Control Organization. A manufacturer will be given approval to test only after complying with the BIS non-animal standards.
Animal Testing Status:
Companies around the world are switching to effective, modern non-animal tests and more than 1,200 companies have already given up animal-testing methods. But many still are carrying out with the same old procedures of subjecting animals to painful tests.