Be Cruelty-Free, an international campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics globally, has reportedly launched in China. Led by advocacy group Humane Society International (HSI), the campaign has asked China, reportedly the world’s fourth largest beauty market, to cease its mandatory testing of cosmetics on live animals. Be Cruelty-Free has led similar campaigns across South Korea, Oceania, Brazil, Russia, Canada, and India, which became the first South Asian country to prohibit animal testing for cosmetics in July 2013.

According to HSI, hundreds of cosmetics companies worldwide avoid animal testing by using safe, existing ingredients and available non-animal tests. Chinese regulators, however, have reportedly been slow to accept most internationally recognized non-animal tests. “Beauty products made or sold in China come at a huge and totally unnecessary cost to thousands of animals,” said Capital Animal Welfare Association Director Qin Xiaona. “While the rest of the world is turning away from animal testing, our regulations are holding us back from leading the way in cruelty-free cosmetics. It’s time for our country to take the important step of phasing out animal testing.”

India’s animal-testing ban for cosmetics is discussed in Issue 6 of this Update. See, July 18, 2013.