Russia questions cost of animal testing ban for cosmetics

The Duma will hold further discussions about proposed bill and its cost implications

A bill that proposes a ban on animal testing for cosmetics and cosmetics ingredients in the place of alternatives is currently under scrutiny by Russia’s parliament.

The bill, which was drafted by Duma MPs Sergei Doronin and Igor Igoshin and published in August last year, seeks a phase-out of testing on animals and ingredients tested on animals but only in the presence of suitable alternatives. The partial bill aims to enforce a ban on domestic testing by 1 January 2020, and marketing by 1 January, 2022.

However, a Duma official was concerned over the cost implications of imposing the ban. Doronin said the law, if passed, would require changes to current tax rules and would be a burden on local executive branches of power, while adding pressure to the national budget.

Cruelty Free International, which helped draft the bill, told Cosmetics Business that costs would not be an issue. CEO Michelle Thew said: “Since more and more jurisdictions are requiring that cosmetics manufacturers prove safety by non-animal means, we do not think that enforcing compliance will introduce significant cost for the Russian authorities. Once the authorities state that animal testing will no longer be accepted as proof of safety, it will be up to the companies to produce non-animal proof of safety, just as they do in the EU and elsewhere. We welcome the fact that the MPs are continuing to press the issue. Cruelty Free International will be supporting their efforts and we believe that the objections will be overcome.”

The Duma will now hold further discussions about the bill and its cost implications. Cruelty Free International’s Director of Policy confirmed that Doronin and Igoshin “are determined to press ahead” and are challenging the cost argument put forward by the Duma member.

Humane Society International said it was not directly involved in the campaign in Russia, although it has been working in the region.

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