February has been quite the month for the animals, with major steps forward in improving welfare across the board. Here’s a snapshot!

1. Australia Bans Animal Testing For Cosmetics
Filling our social feeds on Valentine’s Day was news of the Australian Government finally passing a bill that effectively bans animals testing of industrial chemicals in Australia.

The Industrial Chemical Charges Bill 2017 was introduced into the House of Representatives in June 2017 and was passed by the Australian Senate in February 2019. It means that Australia will no longer accept animal testing as proof of a product’s safety or efficiency.

The result of an agreement reached between the Government and Humane Society International (HSI), saw a commitment to 11 measures that ensure the ban covers all cosmetic ingredients. The bill also includes funding to help businesses implement alternatives to animal testing.

Mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs are the animals who will benefit most from this ban (HIS estimates around 500,000 animals suffer and die globally each year because from the outdated and cruel practice of animal testing).

The news was welcomed by Australians, with Nexus and Humane Research showing the overwhelming majority (85 per cent) is opposed to using animals in the development of cosmetics, with four in five supporting a national ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.

We totally worshipping at the altar of HIS right now! Its global #BeCrueltyFree campaign is the largest global effort in history to end cosmetics animal testing and trade.

Hannah Stuart, HSI Campaign Manager for #BeCrueltyFree Australia, shared that HSI has been in intense negotiations with the government for nearly three years and the passage of the bill was “made possible through overwhelming public and cross-party support of #BeCrueltyFree Australia’s campaign for a robust national ban on cruel cosmetics.”

She added that the ban “reflects both the global trend to end cosmetics cruelty and the will of the Australian public, which opposes using animals in the development of cosmetics… This is a huge win for animals, consumers and science.”

With more than 1,000 beauty brands certified Cruelty Free globally, this is another movement that we expect to see continue fast momentum on the world stage. For more information, visit Humane Society International Australia.

Image courtesy of PETA.

2. Priceline Bans Badger Hair
Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API), whose subsidiaries include Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy, joined 45 other companies from around the world, including Procter & Gamble, in banning badger hair.

Off the back of a PETA video expose of China’s badger brush industry, API confirmed it will avoid stocking make-up, shaving and hair brushes and any other item containing badger hair.

The PETA Asia investigation revealed that along with those bred in captivity, ‘protected’ badgers are illegally captured in the wild, confined to small cages on Chinese badger-hair farms, before being and violently killed for make-up, shaving and paint brushes.

PETA spokesperson, Emily Rice said; “We commend Australian Pharmaceutical Industries for acting swiftly and compassionately to ensure its stock better reflects its customers’ demand for animal-friendly beauty. Buying or selling animal hair is never acceptable – no matter which animal it comes from – and that’s why business-savvy brands are pledging to ditch badger hair and stock a variety of soft, luxurious synthetic brushes instead.”

For more information, visit PETA.

3. The Czech Republic Bans Fur Farms

Passed in June 2017, this month a law that enforces a full ban of fur farming in The Czech Republic was made real. This will see the shut down of any remaining fur farms, namely fox and mink farms, holding as many as 20,000 animals.

We can thank local animal rights group, OBRAZ, which led campaigns in the face of intense opposition from the Ministry of Agriculture. After releasing footage from local farms depicting inhumane treatment of the animals during fur production, it was able to ignite public support and increase the pressure that lead to the bill being passed.

Globally, fur farming remains a huge animal rights issue, with more than 100 million animals killed each year for their fur. Kept in small wire mesh cages, their lives are ended cruelly by gassing, neck-breaking and anal electrocution to preserve the quality of their pelts.

As the inhumane practices gain exposure, increasing pressure to ban fur continues to grow, with many European countries introducing fur bans in recent years, including Belgium, Austria, the UK, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and now, The Czech Republic.

Following on from Los Angeles banning the production and sale of fur, along with notable designers including Chanel and Victoria Beckham banning fur from their ranges, the global anti-fur movement is showing no signs of slowing down. Watch this space!