Bill proposed to phase out animal testing of cosmetics in Russia

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bill proposed to phase out animal testing of cosmetics in Russia

Related tags: Animal testing

Russian MPs have prepared a new cross-party bill, the first of its kind in the country, which aims to phase out all animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients by 2020.

Senior Duma Parliament members Sergey Doronin, deputy head of the lower house Committee for Agriculture (Fair Russia), and MP Igor Igoshin (United Russia), presented the bill, which was drafted with advice from Anastasia Komargina, Russia Campaign Manager for Cruelty Free International.

Russian daily, Izvestia​, reports that a draft law ‘On banning the quality control of perfumes, cosmetics and their ingredients on animals,’ has been prepared.

At present, few laws in Russia deal with animal cruelty and cosmetics testing on animals, and pressure from animal rights groups to follow the example of the EU has been growing.

This pressure seems to have paid off, and Doronin also says that by acting in accordance with European standards, Russian cosmetics firms will therefore find it easier to enter the European market.

"It is very satisfying to be putting forward this proposal to bring Russia among the leading countries in the world for the ethical principle of no longer allowing animals to suffer for cosmetics,”​ he says.

Activist pressure

Igoshin adds that animal rights activists had launched a petition in support of the ban and it had already gathered over 200,000 signatures of supporters.

"I look forward to the time when animals no longer suffer to bring cosmetics to market in Russia, and I'm pleased with this Bill to contribute to the global effort by Cruelty Free International to end experiments of this kind and adopt modern non-animal alternatives,"​ he says.

Cruelty Free International was one of the animal rights groups that was so vocal in its attempt to take steps towards a ban in Russia, and chief executive, Michelle Thew, says that this decision has been welcomed, as it has been in China, Korea, and Brazil, previously.

“We welcome this Bill and congratulate Sergei Doronin and Igor Igoshin for introducing it. This latest development in Russia follows similar progress we have made in many other countries following the EU ban on animal cosmetics tests,”​ she says.

Mixed reaction

While both Doronin and Igoshin note that the alternative methods of testing are faster and cheaper too, there has been a mixed reaction with concerns raised over product safety.

According to RT, executive director of the Russian Perfumes and Cosmetics Association Aleksandra Skorobogatova says that Russia lacks the hardware that would allow the industry to stop using animal tests and that setting up such facilities could take years.

Without proper technical backing the ban could lead to release of potentially hazardous products on the market, she said.

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