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Beagle-Puppy-3Victory! The EU has just announced that from 11th March 2013 all cosmetics sold in the EU cannot be tested on animals or contain ingredients that have been tested on animals. Anywhere in the world. In other words, from 11th March 2013, any company wishing to sell cosmetic products- including self care products such as toothpaste, soap and deodorant- cannot have their products tested anywhere in the world. No scientific ingredient tested on poor rabbits in China, manufactured and then shipped over to the companies headquarters in France for packaging.

Of course, there are still loopholes. Products currently on shelves will be sold as usual. Companies can still test on animals outside the EU to sell products elsewhere. Companies can obey the EU’s ban on animal testing yet still sell cosmetics into China, therefore being required to test on animals. It will be interesting to see what happens later in the year when the luxury brands start dropping their spring/summer collections.

Not to put a dampener on the news- it is an amazing achievement of over 20 years of hard work from various animal rights organisations, angry consumers and companies who were early adopters against cruelty to animals such as The Body Shop.

The EU has definitely taken a step in the right direction- really, a step in the only logical direction there is. In January, Israel put a ban into place to stop any cosmetics that have been tested on animals to be imported and sold in the country.  Since then, India announced their plans to follow suit, stating they ‘do not want to be left behind.’

Sadly, Australia is still lagging. We seem to be stuck in the past with a number of issues, marriage equality being another one that we haven’t seem to come on board with yet, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change. Sure, you cannot test products on animals if they are manufactured here but there is nothing to stop companies testing off-shore.

But we are close. Remember the outrage when the AACT banned this billboard last year? Australians are ready. So speak up! Ask your favourite companies to stop. Fill out the form on the Animals Australia website and have them represent your concerns to 3 of the big bads. Order free post cards from Choose Cruelty Free and send them off. Our voices need to be heard- we don’t want Australia left behind.