NEW DELHI: India has taken the final decision to ban all animal testing of soaps and detergents, with an environment ministry committee taking the view in a meeting held late last month.
Pushed actively by minister and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi, the testing ban will soon be notified by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the commerce ministry.
The decision on the animal testing ban was taken at a meeting of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) in a meeting held on August 24, 2015. The committee of the Prakash Javadekar-led environment ministry has unanimously decided on the ban.
“I am glad the CPCSEA has taken this decision finally. I have been taking up this matter from the first. Rounds of meetings have been held on this. The Bureau of Indian Standards had first recommended it to DIPP, which made the reference to CPCSEA — the authorised body for any such issue. It is a decision even the industry welcomes as parameters for chemicals have already been established and decided upon by now. There is no point in repeated animal testing. The move has taken quite some time to come and I am happy that it has finally been achieved,” Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women & Child Development told ET.
The Centre has constituted the CPCSEA to take all such measures as may be necessary to ensure that animals are not subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering before, during or after the performance of experiments on them. All establishments engaged in research and education involving animals, are required to comply with the various guidelines, norms and stipulations set out by CPCSEA. The permission for conducting experiments involving use of animals also is routed through CPCSEA.
A CPCSEA member told ET that the ban would come into effect immediately.
“The CPCSEA members took a considered and collective view on this issue which came to us from DIPP and the animal husbandry department. At a meeting on August 24, all members agreed that such a ban need to be in place. With CPCSEA having taken the final call, no animal testing of any kind of soaps or detergents will be permitted from now on. DIPP and commerce ministry are expected to shortly issue directions on and commerce ministry are expected to shortly issue directions on the same and notify the ban,” a committee member told ET on condition of anonymity.
ET View: Passing the Humane Test
You judge a culture by the way it treats other beings. The kingdom of Emperor Ashoka Maurya was the first to treat animals as ‘citizens’. India should be equally proud that it now prohibits the testing of soaps and detergents on animals. In today’s day and age, when computer modelling and advances in molecular science allow such testing to be conducted without endangering lives, such practices are not only inhumane but also anachronistic. In this context, empathising with animals is not an airy fairy notion, but an extension of how people should treat other lives. India must now ban testing beauty products on animals.