Animals in Entertainment & Experiments





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Elephants, tigers, and other animals that circuses use to entertain audiences do not stand on their heads, jump through hoops, or balance on pedestals because they want to.

They perform these and other difficult tricks because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.

To “train” these wild animals to perform for our entertainment (not theirs), circus trainers abuse them with whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks (heavy batons with a sharp steel hook on one end), and other painful tools of the circus trade.

Video footage of animal training sessions shows that elephants are beaten with bullhooks and shocked with electric prods.

Circuses easily get away with such routine cruelty because the government doesn’t monitor training sessions and handlers are cautious when they’re in public.

Constant Confinement

Circuses travel nearly year-round and the animals are confined to trailers or trucks. Elephants are chained, and big cats are imprisoned in cramped, filthy cages, in which they eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate—all in the same place.

They remain caged and are chained in arena basements and parking lots even when the circus has “arrived”.

2009 scientific review 'Are wild animals suited to a travelling circus life?' by the University of Bristol in the UK confirms that it is impossible to satisfy the behavioural and welfare needs of exotic animals in travelling circuses. The scientists conclude that "the species of non-domesticated animals commonly kept in circuses appear the least suited to a circus life."

Australian Federal government lags terribly and disappointingly behind over 43 countries that have implemented bans. So instead local councils take the matter seriously and 40 councils - and the ACT - in Australia have banned exotic animal circuses from performing on council land.

Stardust Circus still uses wild animals — including African lions and rhesus macaque monkeys.

It's the largest animal circus in Australia and one of only two still operating in the country. Lennos Bros is the other.

If you agree that lions, elephants and other wild animals should not be trained with force, or kept in captivity and made to perform, you can either protest, send emails to your local government or simply avoid supporting circuses with these wild animals and go and see the many others with incredible consenting HUMAN performers. If you are not sure, simply google how they train the animals in the thousands of undercover investigations that are every where on the internet, making sure there is no denial over how cruel it is. Once you see, it becomes hard to be able to justify.


By July 2017, nine European Union member states had outlawed the use of wild animals in circuses, and both Ireland and Scotland implemented bans last year. Environment secretary Michael Gove has introduced a long-awaited bill to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses across England

Here’s the list of countries that have introduced or implemented bans on circuses that use wild animals:

  • Austria
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Romania
  • Scotland
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

Also Madrid and 9 other Spanish regions.

Many cities and counties in California—including Encinitas, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, Marin County, Oakland, Pasadena, and West Hollywood—have already passed bans or restrictions on the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling acts. But State Senate Bill 313 would make the ban statewide, as New Jersey and Hawaii have already done.




Rodeo +

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In Australia and New Zealand, thousands of animals are used in hundreds of rodeo events every year.

Due to their cruelty, rodeos have been banned in England since 1934. They are also banned in several European countries and American states.

Unfortunately, rodeos are legal everywhere in Australia except the ACT.

The animals have to be physically provoked into the frenzied ‘bucking’ movements, these include -

  • Flank straps, that are placed around the girth and pulled tightly just before the animal is released into the arena, inflicting distress and pain and causing the animal to buck.

  • Electric prods, are used to shock the animals to move out of the shoot. While against the law it is not uncommon to witness hand-held prods.

  • Spurs are metal spikes on the back of riders’ boots, which are dug into the animals’ flank to compel the animal to move.

  • Tail Twisting, Raking, and Pulling, are three methods that inflict pain upon the bull, calf and horses.

The Events

There are several events in a rodeo that horses and cattle are forced to participate in:

  • The animal is provoked into bucking while a rider holds the reins with one hand and attempts to stay on for eight seconds. The unnatural bucking movement has caused animals to break their legs, necks and backs, all while suffering the effects of the vicious provocation.

  • Calf roping. A calf is chased by a rider on horseback. The rider lassoes the calf around the neck, and then has 30 seconds to jump off the horse and tie three of the calf’s legs. Neck bruising and snapping is common in these events for the terrified calves.

  • Steer wrestling. Steers are grabbed by the horns and wrestled to the ground in a timed competition. The steers suffer stress, as well as neck, muscle and tendon injuries as a result.





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Whilst some zoos may contribute in small ways to conservation projects, if we consider how many zoos there are around the world (there is a zoo in pretty much every city), and how many animals are taken from the wild to be put in the zoos - perhaps zoos are not always conserving wild animals but actually removing them from the wild.

It is true zoos can play a role in conservation of some species, this is a small portion of the animals zoos work with. As Tim Zimmerman pointed out in an article for Outside magazine last year, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums reported that of all the animals at the 228 zoos it accredits, only 30 species are being worked with for recovery. And of those 30 cases, most can’t be re-introduced into the wild. So the species will exist, but never as they once did.

This is not to say that people who work at zoos do not care greatly for these animals. They do. But keeping these animals in artificial environments - whether they be the barren ones or the “prettier” ones - can’t come close to matching the space, diversity, and freedom that animals want and need. This deprivation—combined with relentless boredom and inability to fulfil natural instincts - causes suffering in the animals in the zoos. When considering visiting zoos, we must consider what we are supporting.

It is important to note that -

  • Zoos exist primarily for profit.

  • A zoo can teach you a lot about how animals behanve in captivity but will teach you very little about the behaviour of animals in the wild.

  • In 2013 Costa Rica declared that it would be closing all its zoos and releasing the animals who are able to be rehabilitated to the wild.

  • Animals in captivity across the globe have been documented displaying signs of anxiety and depression. These traits are largely uncommon amongst healthy and happy animals in the wild. These traits include rocking, swaying, excessively pacing back and forth, circling, twisting of the neck, self-mutilation, excessive grooming, biting, vomiting.

We already know that certain species simply do not and cannot thrive in the zoo setting: elephants, bears, wolves, whales, dolphins, chimpanzees, orangutans, lions, and tigers, just to name a few. There are scientists now pushing for a reform in the manner we are keeping these animals in captivity. Many zoos have relocated their elephants to sanctuaries.

Surplus management strategies are one of the best-kept secrets of modern zoos. One that shocks anyone who learns about it, like in 2014 when a healthy 2 year old giraffe named Marius was killed and cut up in front of spectators at Copenhagen Zoo.

In response to widespread criticism, Copenhagen Zoo's Scientific Director Bengt Holst defended the decision, saying that the zoo had a surplus of giraffes and that this is something that's "done every day", just not in the public eye. Just a short time later, Copenhagen Zoo was in the news again for killing four healthy lions to make room for a new male lion they wanted to breed. The relevant zoo standards in Australia would allow a similar judgement to be made about 'surplus animals' in zoos here, but these 'management' decisions are rarely made public.

Zoos also routinely trade and relocate animals who they deem to have outlived profitability or who no longer fit into breeding schemes.

Trading animals with other zoos can be extremely stressful for the animals who are relocated, as they leave behind social bonds and surroundings they have grown accustomed to.

Jenny Gray, chief executive officer of Zoos Victoria and author of a book titled Zoo Ethics: The Challenges of Compassionate Conservation, wrote:

Unfortunately, the bulk of zoos in existence today still fall short of meeting the requirements of ethical operations. At best, 3% of zoos are striving to meet ethical standards, with perhaps only a handful meeting all the requirements.

Gray, J. (2017). Zoo ethics: The challenges of compassionate conservation. Ithaca, New York: Comstock Publishing Associates. [Google Scholar]

Clubb, R. and Mason, G. (2003). Animal welfare: Captivity effect on wide-ranging carnivores. Nature 425, 473–474.[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], , [Google Scholar]



There is a big difference between a rescue centre, sanctuary and a park for human entertainment.

They are often marketed the same.

But they are not.

The best way to see what is what is whether the park/sanctuary is set up for the animals or the people…

Birds in tiny cages = not for the birds

Crocodiles piled together in dense living = not for the crocodiles

Rides/bathing/painting/ constant patting/ sitting on laps = not for animals…

It can be very confusing. Confronting. Disappointing when you go thinking you are supporting the animals and go to find you paid money to fund a place that seems to be abusing them.

What to do? If you go to these places, write reviews on Tripadvisor and take photos.

Google is a wonderful tool. Really. Spend 10 minutes before you go to a place.


Captive Dolphins and whales



Firstly, if you have not, you really want to watch Blackfish and The Cove.

Both these award winning films will teach you more than anything I write will. And if you go to or are thinking about going to any aquariums or places where they keep dolphins or whales, then you really do owe it to them to watch these first.



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Dolphins in captivity are generally caught from the wild.

The majority of them come from a “cove” in Japan, Taiji, where the Japanese herd them in from the oceans and then catch thousands to trade to shows and, which many people do not realise, slaughter thousands more.

So firstly, when you support a show with a dolphin in it, you have also supported what goes on with the slaughtering of tens of thousands of dolphins in Japan. Dolphins are slaughtered by stabbing them with spears to bleed them to death, or a metal rod is inserted into the spinal cord to cause paralysis.

Ric O’Barry, used to train dolphins for the popular US TV series Flipper until one, Kathy, died. He is convinced that Kathy intentionally closed her own blowhole and committed suicide because of her distress from being in captivity. He has spent the following 40 years campaigning against dolphins in captivity and, latterly, the Taiji hunts.

The dolphin hunters make approximately $32,000 -250,000 USD for each live dolphin that can be trained.

Even looking past the slaughter of tens of thousands of beautiful dolphins, the “lucky” ones who are then taken forcibly from their family, transported across the globe and put into tanks and forced to do tricks or swim with humans, suffer greatly.

In the wild, dolphins swim up to 60 miles each day, but in captivity, they’re confined to chemically treated concrete pools. This is especially traumatic for them since they communicate through sonar.

Former dolphin trainer Doug Cartlidge maintains that highly social dolphins are punished by being isolated from other animals: “You put them in a pen and ignore them. It’s like psychological torture.”

In wild, dolphins can live into their 40s and 50s―some have been documented to be more than 90 years old. But more than 80 percent of captive dolphins whose ages could be determined died before they turned 20.

Many high profile people, airlines and even countries are banning or boycotting places that keep dolphins in captivity.

In the UK, Switzerland, India, the US, Canada and many other countries - dolphin captivity has been banned, or legislative moves to phase it out are well underway.

Although Australia is one of the world’s most vocal advocates for dolphins living in the wild, we are well behind in protecting captive dolphins.



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Keeping whales in tanks. Does this make sense? How did they get there? Do they suffer when they are there?

Whales, like dolphins are highly intelligent mammals, that live in family groups and swim the world oceans, swimming 40 miles a day on average—not just because they can, but because they need to, to forage for their varied diets and to exercise. They dive 100 to 500 feet, several times a day, every day. They communicate through sonar. Like humans, their brains are highly developed in the areas of social intelligence, language and self-awareness.

When you keep them in barren tanks, ripped away from family, forced to live either in isolation or in very close proximity to another whale or dolphins who they may OR MAY NOT get a long with, it cause them huge amounts of grief, sadness and sometimes even aggressive behaviour, which is not seen in the wild.

They also get sick. A lot. Orcas kept in tanks spend most of their time swimming in endless circles, causing their tall dorsal fins to collapse to one side. Dorsal fin collapse happens to 1% of wild orcas. 100% of captive male adult orcas have collapsed dorsal fins.

And die much much younger than any whales in the wild.

There are currently 59 orcas in captivity at sea parks and aquariums throughout the world. Some are wild-caught; some were born in captivity. A third of the world’s captive orcas are in the United States, and all but one of those live at SeaWorld’s three parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio.

Blackfish the film created a world wide cry out against what is going on, to get and keep whales in captivity.

-California made it illegal to breed orcas

-SeaWorld, which has a park in San Diego, announced that it would be ending its captive orca breeding programaltogether, saying its current orcas will be the last generation to live at SeaWorld parks. Although 20 orcas and many other cetaceans continue to live and perform at its facilities, the company is increasingly focuses its marketing on its amusement park rides.

While this is a good step, any one campaigning for the welfare of these animals is campaigning for their freedom into sanctuaries.

-At the federal level in the USA, repeatedly there has been a bill introduced to phase out captive orca displays across the U.S.

-In Canada, a federal bill is poised to pass later this year that would ban all captive cetacean displays—not just orcas, but all dolphins, porpoises, and whales.

Eleven orca whales and 87 belugas languish in several rectangular sea pens in Srednyaya Bay in Russia’s Far East. Four Russian firms that supply marine animals to aquariums caught them over the course of several months in the summer of 2018, but just in April 2019, Russias government and from intense international pressure, Russia is saying they will release 97 of them slowly back to the ocean. But there is still fear others will head to Chinas sea parks.

China now has 76 operational sea parks, with another 25 under construction.

Australia has no whales in captivity but does keep dolphins and seals - who suffer just like the whales.

Just a couple of individual whales and their sad tales -

-Lolita, the oldest living orca in captivity is still being held in a barren, concrete tank in Miami’s Seaquarium after arriving there 46 years ago almost to the day. For over four decades she has been forced to survive in a space that is smaller than the guidelines require for an orca her size; being only 35 feet wide from the front wall to the work island with the shallow depth of 20 feet. It is the smallest tank in North America; a dismal reality for any marine animal; especially for a 20 foot intelligent and emotional orca that in the wild would swim the distance of oceans with her pod as company.

Lolita comes from a southern pod of Puget Sound orca whales that are endangered, with estimated less than 80 of them left in the wild after large numbers were brutally rounded up over a period of ten years between 1965 to 1975 and killed or put into captivity.

The reports show that despite from being “lovingly cared for,” Lolita suffers from ongoing tooth pain, dehydration and an inflammatory eye condition requiring daily drops. Yet most upsetting is the medical records and observations relating to the attacks Lolita has endured last year from her fellow captive orcas. Over fifty times the orcas scraped Lolita’s skin with their teeth causing open, bleeding wounds.

-Hugo, the other orca that was also kept in Miami’s Seaquarium over 20 years ago, was so tortured by his living conditions he would bash his head against his tank walls so hard that eventually, he killed himself through a brain haemorrhage.

-Kayla died. She was a 30-year-old killer whale living at SeaWorld Orlando. If she’d been living in the wild, she’d likely have lived into her 50s, and possibly as old as 80. Still, Kayla lived longer than any captive-born orca in history.


elephant rides


elephant rides +

Elephants are highly endangered. Across Asia, thousands have been rescued from industries and placed in ‘sanctuaries’ BUT there is a real sanctuary and again, there is entertainment.

Real sanctuaries will limit contact with the elephants, with visitors observing them from a distance the majority of the time.

Riding or allowing bathing sessions with elephants can mean the elephants are constantly around people, which is intense for them.

“In order to ensure they are safe around humans, the baby elephants must be broken in – a brutal and distressing process known as ‘crushing the spirit’,”

“They are kept in a tiny pen to prevent movement, with their legs tied tightly. They can be severely beaten with sharp objects, screamed at and starved of food and water, which can last for several days or weeks. The psychological impact then means that the fear of being beaten will ensure that the elephant ‘behaves’ around tourists.”

Unfortunately, riding elephants is still one of the most popular tourist activities in Asia.

A two-year study by World Animal Protection (WAP) in 2017, investigating 3,000 elephants at tourist venues across Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Laos and Cambodia, found that 77% of them were living in inadequate conditions that were “severely cruel” and “deeply concerning”.

This included being chained up when not performing, with no interaction with other elephants, a poor diet, and stress-inducing noise levels. It also found that there had been a 30% rise in the number of elephants at tourism venues in Thailand since 2010.

Some common observations:

  • Chaining of elephants so they have very limited movement - particularly of the bulls (males)

  • Limited diet - for example, just one or two plants such as pineapple leaves

  • Isolation from others - limited opportunity for touching or other normal social interaction

  • Little or no veterinary care

  • Unsuitable, unyielding ground such as concrete, which is harmful to their feet

  • Bright sunlight where it may be up to 40 degrees with limited shade


  • Rides - saddles may be left on all day and insufficient cushioning may cause discomfort

  • Use of hooks, sticks and other tools to control the elephant - causing pain if used inappropriately

  • Elephant painting may seem peaceful, but in reality the training of an elephant to be compliant to the mahout’s movements of their ear and directing the movement of their trunk, would only be achieved through threat of pain.

The more popular riding elephants is, the more they are used for entertainment rather than being released into the wild or placed in real sanctuaries…. there are wonderful places you can visit to see elephants and support them still, that do not involve riding or bathing them… but do we really need to to enjoy them, especially when we know they have suffered to do so for us?


Dog Sledding



When looking into dog sledding, they really do seem to enjoy it. But like any industry that involves animals, we look at the full picture to then make our decision whether we want to support it or not.

Dog sledding includes

  • the breeders,

  • the place and manner of which they are homed and cared for, and

  • what happens to them after they are no longer needed (or able) to pull the sleds

Just like pet stores, or even egg farms, the issue often is not with the owners of the end business. Many pet stores, dog-sledding companies and egg farms alike, have wonderful standards and love and nurture their animals but what of the origin of the animals. Where did these animals come from?

In the case of dog-sled dogs, they come from breeders - or more namely put in this case, puppy-farms. Sled Dog the award winning documentary, and other undercover investigations, uncover that many of these breeding compounds have really terrible conditions for the dogs - where dogs are kept tied to metal posts, in plastic barrels or wood “houses” and forced to breed over and over.

"At the breeding compound at Ontario's Chocpaw Expeditions, the largest kennel in North America, dogs chained to plastic barrels stretch as far as the eye can see. The dogs live in a six foot circumference of wet mud and puddles. Some are driven mad by the confinement, spinning on their chains until they are stopped short, over and over again."

Then in the actual dog-sledding operations, approximately 150 - 300 dogs are kept at a time. Homing this many dogs means they are often kept tethered on chains, or at best, in pens. Some of them have the space to allow them to run free in large areas during the days when they are not pulling sleds, but this is not regulated and with such large packs, it is easier to manage if they are kept tied up or in their pens - unable to really socialise, which dogs innately need to do.

And what about off-season when there is no snow and no business?? What happens to the hundreds of dogs then? I am not sure, but the account from one of the dog "mushers" made me wary;

“The dogs that do grow up are chained for their entire time as adults. Only seasonally when in race training, when actually racing or during tour operations do they get exercised, and then perhaps once a day or once a week. As soon as they finish work in the sled team they are returned straight back onto the chain, there is no free time to move about freely, run or socialise with other dogs ever.”

In 2010, Whistler was in the worlds spotlight, rocked by the mass slaughter of 100 dog-sled dogs, that were shot, execution style, because of being "surplus" and unwanted for the tourist business. Even though this large scale cull was not the norm in the industry, it showed that there is no regulation around how the dogs are treated and what can happen when animals, dogs specifically in this case, are viewed as commodities - replaceable equipment - rather than beings.

What is even more concerning to me, is that this high-profile slaughter did not change tether or culling rules; instead, B.C. issued guidelines on humane ways to shoot unwanted dogs.


Horse Racing



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Racing animals is about winning. About the gamble. And not all horses are winners.

So what happens to the rest of them?

Out of the approximate 13 000 that are bred every year in Australia alone, only 300 out of a 1000 will make it to the racetrack, and too many of the other 9000 others will likely find their fate being killed and fed to dogs. Thats right, the breeding of horses for the races is directly responsible for thousands of deaths of horses per year in Australia alone.

The horses that do race can't all be winners and even if they are, they eventually will slow down and lose their dollar value and so are also sold and also often just discarded as "wastage". Literally. Some lucky ones are kept or sold to farms, but the majority are killed. Also slaughtered for pet food, but also some for human consumption overseas.

There are also the horrible accidents that do occur on the racetracks, that even with the designer dressers and champagne, onlookers can't pretend didn't happen... and these are not freak accidents.


The Coalition for the Protection of RaceHorses did a investigation into the figures last year and you can read the report, Deathwatch for more details.




greyhound racing +

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In Australia, the horrific scandal behind the greyhound industry was exposed on Four Corners, Making A Killing, revealing, amongst much other cruel practices, 8,000 of these innocent puppies and another 10,000 'retired' greyhounds are being killed every year because they are not simply quick enough for the race tracks.

A mass grave was discovered with the remains of 99 greyhounds killed for this industry.


Australia is only one of eight countries in the world that continues this outdated industry, (even in the USA greyhound racing is illegal in 39 states) it seems ludicrous to let the practice continue.

With 200 dogs being injured in race weeks, thousands of innocent animals such as piglets, kittens, possums and rabbits being used illegally, tied to lures, flung around racetracks at breakneck speeds, and then mauled to death as live-baiting and all this being done to support a self-regulated industry that fuels the gambling problem in Australia (we spend more money on gambling per capita than anywhere else in the world) and that costs us millions of dollars of government money. It doesn't make sense.

If we wouldn’t let this happen to our own dogs ( any many many people now have greyhounds as pets) then we cannot stand by and let this happen to these dogs.


Animal Experimentation



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Animals are still used in experiments. Millions of them every year.

Some experiments are medical, some agricultural (even for pet food) some in education, some for beauty products, some for silly things like stationary.

From all the research I have read over the last decade, animal tests are unneeded. (Even if those doing them, think they are.)

Most are outdated. (We have incredible technologies now, where no animals are needed)

Many are not useful. (Most tests on animals cannot be taken as working the same on humans, with 95% of drugs tested ‘successfully’ on animals fail when they are translated to humans.)

Globally, many breeds of animals are used in testing including dogs, cats, monkeys, mice, rats, rabbits, sheep, pigs, primates. These animals are often referred to as ‘products’, not animals.

One animal dies in a laboratory in the USA every second, in Japan every two seconds and in the UK every twelve seconds.


  • Approximate total number of animals used in Australia in 2016 to over 9 million.

  • Of these there were 6000 dogs and more than 1500 cats, some exotic animals and hundreds of primates


In the case of cosmetics, the manufacturer could choose ingredients that have been used for a long time, and so are likely to be safe.

If the chemical is a new one, the first test could be the QSAR computer analysis to predict its likely irritancy. In the next stage, a number of in vitro (test tube) tests could be used.

If the product is shown to be safe by this set of tests, it can then be trialed by human volunteers.


The main problem with animal research which claims to relate to the causes of human disease or development of human disease therapies, is that animals are not humans. Results with ‘animal models’ of human diseases can therefore be very misleading. Similarly, results from animals predicting toxic side effects of drugs can be wrong.

The human genome has now been cloned, which means that researchers can work with human proteins expressed in immortal cell lines, which can be grown in large quantities in the laboratory. This means that researchers no longer have the excuse that animal experiments are the only available option to research human disease and cellular function. By working on human proteins, researchers can acquire knowledge which is directly relevant to human function. Equally importantly, where the disease concerned has a genetic basis, researchers can work on the ‘faulty’ protein which is produced as a result of the ‘fault’ in the gene concerned and which causes the disease


Animals kept for experimentation spend their lives in captivity, often in steel barren cages, with barely enough room to sit, stand, lie down, or turn around, where they suffer from extreme frustration, loneliness and fear, fear because of the terrifying and painful procedures that will be performed on them.

The complete lack of environmental enrichment and the stress of their living situation cause some animals to develop neurotic types of behavior such as incessantly spinning in circles, rocking back and forth, pulling out their own fur, and even biting themselves. After enduring a life of pain, loneliness, and terror, almost all of them will be killed.

Even with no testing, just keeping animals in these environments is cruel and causes them suffering.

Then there are the tests they are forced to endure. Some may be lucky and not have a ny pain to suffer through. Then it goes on a scale to horrendous.

Examples of animal tests include forcing mice and rats to inhale toxic fumes, force-feeding dogs pesticides, and dripping corrosive chemicals into rabbits’ sensitive eyes. Then there is tubes forced up primates’ nostrils or down the animals’ throats so that experimental drugs can be pumped into their stomachs, they are given infectious diseases and then used as test subjects for experimental vaccines, and military testing where primates were exposed to anthrax and infected with botulism and bubonic plague, or monkeys have holes drilled into their skulls, metal restraint devices screwed into their heads, and electrodes inserted into their brains.

Even if a product harms animals, it can still be marketed to consumers.

Conversely, just because a product was shown to be safe in animals does not guarantee that it will be safe to use in humans.

There are the experiments that allows animals to be burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, drowned, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged. No experiment, no matter how painful or trivial, is prohibited – and pain-killers are not required. Even when alternatives to the use of animals are available, the law does not require that they be used—and often they aren’t.


I dont believe that a mouse is less important than a dog. Or a baboon more than a rabbit. I dont believe any animal should be tortured. I will mention only a very few animals here, but I encourage you to learn more. It may break your heart, but that may mean you may be moved to change who you support with your dollar. And maybe even help these animals…


dogs +

Dogs, especially the bread, Beagles are used in testing too. Beagles are preferred chiefly because they are easy to handle and because they have short hair which is easy to maintain.

I shared my life with Toco, a beagle for over ten years. He was cheeky, loving, constantly running away to follow scents…. and the idea that there are thousands of beagles like him, being tested on, is insanity.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals (1993), which as the standard guidelines for the conduct of toxicity tests recognised by most regulatory authorities, specify that in certain common types of toxicity tests two species of animals should be used – one a rodent (eg rats or mice) the other a non-rodent. The preferred non-rodent is a dog and the preferred dog is the beagle.

More than 60,000 dogs are tormented in U.S. laboratories every year.

6000 dogs in Australia are experimented on yearly.



Every year in the U.S., more than 110,000 primates are imprisoned in laboratories, where most of them are abused and killed in invasive, painful, and terrifying experiments. While it is well known that nonhuman primates are sensitive, intelligent beings

It would shock caring Australians that every year hundreds of non-human primates are being tested on in Universities and institutions around the country. Three primate breeding facilities supply these Australian researchers with animals for experimentation — 'supplemented' by the importation of animals from overseas countries where poaching and habitat destruction is a significant cause of plummeting wildlife populations, with some breeds of macaque monkey being critically endangered almost to the point of extinction.

However, for all our apparent similarities, the results of animal experiments on non-human primates cannot be directly applied to humans — meaning that, ultimately, hundreds of primates are being killed every year in tests that have viable animal-free alternatives.



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Animal testing was banned in the UK in 1998, in the European Union back in 2009 and extended the ban to imports in 2014, meaning that not only was it banned to test on animals, but also stopped selling products that were tested on animals.

India, New Zealand, Norway, Israel, Taiwan and Switzerland imposed a similar ban on testing cosmetics on animals.

In 2018, California made it illegal to sell any cosmetics that test on animals.

It was only during the 2016 Election campaign that the Australian Government committed to introduce a cosmetic animal testing ban and on February 14, 2019 that bill package passed an important milestone by passing the Senate.

What does that mean exactly?

It means Australia has joined the EU and the UK in effectively banning cosmetic animal testing in Australia.

The ban comes into affect in July 1, 2020 and it will not affect any cosmetics products currently on the shelves as it will apply to animal test data obtained from tests conducts on or after 1 July 2020.

There is no animal testing for cosmetic ingredients currently being undertaken in Australia. The ban has been designed so there will be no incentive to conduct tests to meet the information requirements for introduction of chemicals used solely in cosmetics in Australia.




For brands who strive to be cruelty-free, there can be a deal-breaker; China.

China is the only country that requires, by law, cosmetics to be tested on animals.

China is also the largest cosmetics market, making up almost 20% of the global market with over $3 billion in revenue. This means that in order to be truly cruelty-free, brands have to forego a huge percentage of the beauty market.

Even if they don’t test on animals themselves, in order to sell to the Chinese market, cosmetics brands must pay for their products to undergo third-party tests on animals.


What to look for when shopping for cruelty-free cosmetics


There are over a thousand companies certified cruelty-free and that number just keeps growing. There are several independent third parties that certify products as having not been tested on animals, including Choose Cruelty Free, the Leaping Bunny and PETA . These organisations:

  • compile lists of companies that sign statutory declarations promising they do not test nor allow others to test on their behalf any products or ingredients on animals

  • do not certify companies that sell their products in markets like China, where animal testing is required.

Humane Research Australia

Medical Advances Without Animals Trust

Published studies, reviews and reports on animal experimentation compiled by Australian veterinarian Dr Andrew Knight

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Fund for Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME)

InterNICHE is the International Network for Humane Education.

For the alternatives to animals in teaching, and a good place for conscientious objectors to seek assistance, visit Learning Without Killing.

For details of which products are not tested on animals visit Choose Cruelty Free.