Vanessa-Mae, Superstar Violinist and Cruelty Free International Global Ambassador, has welcomed the passing of a Bill by the Korea National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee to end the use of animals to test cosmetics in Korea.

The Bill, part of the Department of Health’s 5 Year Plan for Animal Welfare, now goes to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and will be made law in the coming weeks.

The announcement follows two years of work by Cruelty Free International with Representative Jeong-Lim Moon, Assembly Members and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), and heralds a ban on companies testing cosmetics and ingredients on animals with rare exceptions by 2018 – two years sooner than the deadline originally proposed in the Government’s 5 Year Plan.

Cruelty Free International Director of Policy Dr Nick Palmer, who initiated the discussions with the MFDS and Assembly members that started the process two years ago, said: “This is excellent news and a great start to the New Year. With bans already in place in the EU, India and New Zealand, and the relaxation of stringent animal testing requirements in China, Korea joins the ever-growing list of nations that no longer see animal experiments as necessary for cosmetics. We are delighted to have played a significant role in this momentous breakthrough and look forward to helping other Asian countries take similar steps in 2016.”

Cruelty Free International East Asia Manager, Hyung Ju Lee, stated: “I am thrilled that, after two years of dedicated work by Cruelty Free International, we have been able to achieve this important milestone. I am proud to have been part of the process which will eventually make animal suffering for cosmetics in Korea a thing of the past.”

Vanessa-Mae declared: “This is a fantastic achievement and sends a positive message to the rest of the world that Korea takes animal welfare concerns seriously. I am delighted that, with help from Cruelty Free International, Korea is now putting an end to animal suffering for cosmetics, and I hope that Korea’s actions encourage other countries in Asia and beyond to follow suit.”

Cruelty Free International seeks to end the use of animals in cosmetics testing for products and their ingredients globally, and led the 20-year campaign for the European Union animal cosmetics testing ban. As well as Europe, India and New Zealand now have testing and sales bans in place. Other promising developments around the world include in Vietnam which has agreed to end eye and skin irritation tests and China, which has accepted non-animal tests for regular cosmetic products manufactured domestically.

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