Indian government has asked soap and detergent manufacturers to restrain from product testing on animals. The Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), under the ministry of environment, forests and climate change, had issued a circular to manufactures and industry associations, recently.
Product testing on animals such as rabbits, mice and guinea pigs is a common practice among manufacturers of cosmetics, soaps and detergents in various parts of the world. In India, such tests got banned on all three product categories, after the circular came into effect. Earlier in June 2013, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) prohibited Indian cosmetics manufacturers from conducting tests on animals.
Subrata Jain from ETA Detergents of Hyderabad, said, "We don't use animals for testing. Thus, the new norms do not affects us." B R Gaikwad, founder director, Indian Home & Personal Care Industry Association, said although Indian companies do not undertake animal testing for these products, the move will restrict them from using animals in future. "It is a welcome move."
"CPCSEA, formed under Section 15(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, hereby prohibits the manufacturers of soaps and detergents from carrying out any experiments of animals," the environment ministry order stated.
This is a Rs 1.14 lakh crore market in the country, of which rural and urban markets have equal shares. Currently, some 700 companies manufacture and market these products.
Hailing the government's move, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said it will restrict cruelty on animals in the country. "However, household products manufactured abroad can still be tested on animals" as the rule does not cover imported soaps and detergents, Dipti Kapoor, research associate, PETA India, said.