The Council announced the proposed ordinance after Swiss politician Maya Graf of the Green Party called for a ban on animal testing for cosmetics, cleaning and household; although this was rejected as it states there are sufficient laws in place.
Under European cosmetics law product testing on animals has long been banned, and though Switzerland is not in the EU, it still follows this practice as it is a key trading partner.
In the Swiss Federal Council’s announcement (in French) it says that the country will follow the EU cosmetics ingredient ban soon, stating that for cleaning and household products other methods are already in place
It says that most companies already use other testing methods and that the country is actively involved in the implementation of alternative methods to animal testing.
“As soon as alternative means are implemented, experiments on animals are prohibited in Switzerland and the European Union,” says the statement.
The announcement has been welcomed by animal rights campaign groups, which continue to fight for a full ban; with Switzerland becoming the 35th country to take legal action on the issue if it happens.
“Switzerland is a key trading partner with the EU so the existing EU ban already has at least some impact on cosmetics made and/or sold in Switzerland,” Claire Mansfield, Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign director tells CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com.
“However action by the Swiss government to enact a ban would bring all cosmetics sold in Switzerland up to par with the EU when it comes to the issue of new animal testing.”
Mansfield adds that this is one more example of the growing momentum to end cosmetics cruelty around the world and congratulates Graf for raising the issue in Parliament, and the Swiss government for committing to take action.
The European Union, together with Norway, Israel, India, New Zealand, Turkey, South Korea and several states in Brazil, have already enacted full or partial bans on animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients.
Similar legislation is pending in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Taiwan, Australia, and Argentina, according to HSI.