India has become the first Asian country to ban the testing of cosmetics on live animals. Such tests are performed to check the safety of ingredients before skin tests are made on human volunteers. Numerous alternative tests exists that avoid animal suffering.
With this initiative, India follows in the footsteps of the 27 European Union (EU) countries that applied this rule in a stepwise process starting in 2003 and ending in March 2013. However, unlike the EU, Indian health authorities will temporarily allow importation of ingredients tested on animals from other countries. Animal advocacy groups celebrate this step for a major Asian country and continue to denounce these practices in places like the USA and China.