Cosmetic Testing on Animals in India

As we all know millions of animals are poisoned and killed because of the cruel experiments that are attempted to test the dangerous effects of a particular product and it’s ingredients on the consumers. Various animals like rats, frogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, monkeys, hamsters, etc are forced to inhale and consume different types of chemicals to check the toxicity of the substance or is it fit for human use. This kind of cruelty is still practiced. These poor animals are still forced to inhale massive quantities of a test substance. Even after it has been established that these tests on the animals are incapable of predicting the results of human skin and body and the availability of testing methods without the use of animals, there is a continuance of such heartless practices. It is estimated that 100,000-2000,000 animals suffer and die because of cosmetic testing every year around the world.

Mahatma Gandhi once rightly said, “The greatness of a nation is judged by the way it treats its animals.” Also, the history of the movement in the context of protecting the rights of animals dates to the 3rd century when Asoka explicitly banned the killing of any animals in his kingdom. But as we all know there are no morals left in anyone and everyone is just blindly following their monetary profit. Everybody wants to earn more and more money in easy ways, animals become the targets. Animals are exploited since they are mute spectators and are incapable of raising voice against these cruelties and exploitation done by humans.

Observing this cruelty against animals various laws have been passed by the central government of India like:

  • Prevention of cruelty to animals act in 1960.
  • Wildlife protection Act, 1972

Cruelty to animals means animal abuse that is knowingly inflicted upon animals by human beings for any gain.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1960

  • Section 11(a) to (o) has enumerated different forms of cruelty to the animals.
  • The police hold all power to make an arrest of an offender who is found to be guilty or involved in any kind of cruelty against animals.
  • This act also lays down several guidelines for the transportation of animals for any kind of commercial activity.
  • This law strictly prohibits treating animals cruelly and has also laid down several ways in which an animal can be abused or exploited like kicking, beating, riding, shooting, experimenting, or torturing.
  • Any kind of these acts will result in punishment including a fine ranging between Rs 10 – Rs 100 and even imprisonment for over three months for a subsequent offense.
  • Animals like donkeys, bullock carts, and horses are used on the roads treated as commodities and machines. But nobody cares about them, in fact, we voluntarily choose to remain silent and ignore this.
  • Actually, most of us aren’t even aware of the laws on animal cruelty.
  • Section 3 has laid down various duties of a man to take care of an animal and not to harm him or inflict injuries upon him.
  • The Animal Welfare Board also persons various functions in this like:
  • To advise the central government on making such rules that will prevent unnecessary pain to the animals. Especially when they are transported from one place to another.
  • To ameliorate the suitable conditions of the animals by providing the basic necessities and also the veterinary assistance.
  • To give all kinds of assistance to the animal welfare organizations so that other such organizations are set up to work under the supervision of the board.

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

  • Section 50 authorizes any officer authorized by the director or the chief wildlife to arrest any person without a warrant and detain him. But the prerequisite is that the officer should have reasonable ground and have reasons to believe that the concerned person committed the act.
  • It prohibits the sacrifice of animals also there is a strict prohibition on any injury to the animals and the penalty is mentioned in section 51 of the act.
  • Section 51(1) states that any person who is found guilty of any offense against this act should be punished or even imprisoned for 3 years or fined which may extend to twenty- five thousand or with both.

India bans in testing cosmetics on animals

India became the first country in South Asia to take this major step and ban animal testing for the manufacture of cosmetics. This decision was made at the meeting of the Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) cosmetic sectional committee, chaired by the drug controller general of India and is in line with European union stands. This decision follows appeals from various quarters including that from the National advisory council chairperson Sonia Gandhi and complained about animal rights Maneka Gandhi, to prevent cruelty to animals.

This ban is based on an application by non-profit people for the ethical treatment of animals (PETA) which has been campaigning for this ban for a long time. PETA India has also been campaigning to end the testing of household products and their ingredients on poor animals. This ban is effective largely on products like lipstick, toothpaste, eye make up, household products, etc. Any cosmetic or product which carries out any kind of animal cruelty or testing will have to face actions accordingly as per the provisions of the drugs and cosmetic act and animal cruelty act. Any kind of violation of this law by any person or company will be liable for punishment for a term of imprisonment which may extend from 3-10 years and shall also be held liable to fine or penalty which could be from Rs 500- Rs 10,000, or with both.

Why should testing on animals be stopped?

People have different feelings towards animals some may look upon animals as their companies and living creatures but others may view animals just as ma means to earn easy money for various kinds of experimental researches. Animals are explored from ages by various companies and research facilities all around the world. Although hums often benefit from successful research all the pain and suffering and death of animals are not worth the possible hum benefit. Therefore, animals should not be used in any type of research or test :

  • Firstly their rights are violated when they are used in any kind of research. They are forced to inhale toxins causing permanent damage or even death. They are not even given the option of not participating in the experiment. Also, it is morally wrong as their basic rights are infringed. Thus it should be stopped as it clearly violated the rights of animals.
  • Secondly, all the pain and suffering they go through is just cruel. But what they go through is not worth any possible benefit to humans. When animals are used in various tests and experiments they are subjected to painful and even deadly experiments. All these experimental animals are subjected to agonizing pain and suffering and also death.
  • Lastly, the testing on animals is completely unnecessary because the viable alternatives are available.

Alternative tests and technologies

Chaitanya koduri, the scientific advisor with PETA says that there are several alternative tests and technologies are available which can provide results of various products and toxics far more accurate than those of animal testing.  Basically, this ban remains two remaining tests, namely acute oral toxicity limit test and oral musocal irritation test. “These tests can easily be replaced by computer simulations and tests on human cells.”  The alternative tests are approved and endorsed by various organizations and committees. The use of modern non-animal alternative tests also became invasive tests on animals. A manufacturer or company interested in testing new cosmetic ingredients or toxins must take approval from India’s regulator drug central standard control organization. More than 10,000 companies all around the world now have banned all animal tests in favor of the effective and modern non-animal tests, but still may choose to subject animals to painful tests.

Israel enacted a law banning imports and marketing of any kind of cosmetic products tested on animals and the ban came to effect in January 2010. European Union and it’s 27 countries also have banned both testing and sales to bring an end to any kind of suffering on animals in their respective jurisdiction. India is yet not following their example. A sales ban will definitely prevent companies from outsourcing, testing and importing animal-tested beauty products back into India for sale.,



  1. Explain the prevention of cruelty to animals act.
  2. Explain the wildlife protection act.
  3. Describe the role of PETA in this ban.
  4. Why should testing on animals be stopped?
  5. What are the alternative tests and technology to be used instead?

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