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India has taken the historic step of banning all animal testing for cosmetics, the first South Asian nation to do so. After extensive campaigning from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Humane Society International, and multinational retailers such as LUSH and The Body Shop, the drug controller general of India announced Friday that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will no longer be permitted in the country. Any manufacturer wishing to test new cosmetic ingredients or finished products must first seek approval from India’s Central Drug Standards Control Organisation. In lieu of invasive animal tests, the use of modern, non-animal alternatives will now be mandatory.

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“The end to cruel and unreliable cosmetics tests on animals in India is a victory for animals and science—and the ban’s compliance with international standards will improve trade avenues for our country,” Chaitanya Koduri, PETA India’s science policy advisor and a member of India’s Cosmetics Sectional Committee, says in a statement. “PETA India looks forward to working with the government on the next step: a ban on testing household cleaners and similar products in India.”

While the ban is a major victory for animal-rights groups, the fight is far from over.

While the ban is a major victory for animal-rights groups, the fight is far from over. “This is a great day for India and for the thousands of animals who will no longer suffer, yet more work must be done,” says Baijayant “Jay” Panda, a member of India’s parliament. “Our government must go a step further by banning cosmetics products that are tested on animals abroad and then imported and sold here in India. Only then will India demonstrate its commitment to compassion and modern, non-animal research methods and truly be cruelty-free.”

India’s decision follows recently enacted bans by and Israel and the 27 countries that make up the European Union.