Recently Lee sent the following email to supporters interested in Animal Welfare.
We are at a crucial stage in passing legislation that will end the shocking suffering caused by animal-tested cosmetics.
In 2014 I introduced into the Senate my End Cruel Cosmetics Bill and have continued campaigning on this issue since. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Humane Society International, Humane Research Australia, #BeCrueltyFree and our national and international animal welfare partner NGOs on this continuing campaign.
This week, the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 may be voted on in Parliament. This bill could end animal-tested cosmetics in Australia, but only if two major loopholes are closed in the bill.
It’s tricky to explain:
HUMAN & ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
The cosmetics ban is buried in four paragraphs within this 150 page Bill, which itself is part of a six-bill package.
The bills package deregulates the introduction of industrial chemicals in Australia by reducing health and safety oversight of new industrial chemicals.
This could allow tens of thousands of potentially harmful chemicals, to be introduced into Australia without any notification, let alone assessment of human or environmental impact.
This will risk the current and future health and safety of workers, community and the environment.
The Greens are sponsoring amendments to this bill that, if passed, will protect health and safety regulations for new chemicals.
CRUEL COSMETICS BAN
The government ban as set out in their bill contains a major loophole that will still allow 80% of animal-tested cosmetics into Australia.
The Greens are co-sponsoring amendments with other crossbench and opposition Senators to close this loophole to achieve a ban on cruel cosmetics in Australia.
The Turnbull government’s Industrial Chemicals Bills package will be dangerous for human and animal health, and for our environment if passed without amendments. It would also allow cruel cosmetics to continue in Australia.
The two separate sets of amendments to this legislation are crucial to see animals, people and the environment protected from industrial chemicals. It is essential that these amendments are passed. If they are not, the loopholes in the current government bill will be retained and we will miss this opportunity to end cruel cosmetics.
We are so close to having a breakthrough for the animals.
We are working hard in parliament to ensure these amendments are supported by the Liberals, Nationals, Labor and the crossbench so that we can ensure our plan to end cruel cosmetics is locked into law.
This is an important moment in Australia’s animal welfare history. I will keep you updated on the outcome.
Senator Lee Rhiannon
Greens animal welfare spokesperson