New Delhi : Animal rights group Humane Society International (HSI) has launched a global campaign - 'Be Cruelty-Free' - to end animal testing for cosmetics.
The campaign has been rolled out in several developing cosmetics markets in Australia, Canada, Europe and India. It coincided with the World Week for Animals in Laboratories, and was observed April 23-24.
"In India, thousands of sentient creatures suffer unimaginable distress in laboratories so that beauty products can be produced. But there is currently very little awareness about this hidden suffering. HSI intends to change that by urging consumers, politicians and companies to spare animals from pain by choosing to Be Cruelty-Free," N.G.Jayasimha, campaign manager, HSI, said.
The campaign will make consumers aware that animal testing is not required for cosmetics, and alternatives are available to research new shampoos, lipsticks, mascaras and other cosmetic items.
According to HSI, Indian law does not expressly require animal testing for cosmetics whose raw ingredients are generally recognised as safe according to national standards. Yet some companies continue to produce or use new cosmetic ingredients and test these on animals.
"Thousands of animals, for example rabbits and mice, endure painful tests for skin sensibility and eye irritation to produce cosmetics like lipsticks, mascaras and shampoos. The government needs to define guidelines to ensure animal welfare so that no more tests will be conducted using animals," Jayasimha added.
The HSI stated that cosmetics can easily be produced without animal testing by using advanced non-animal testing methods such as 3D human skin and other sophisticated cellular and computer models.