Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Animal tested cosmetics

Posted: 18 December 2013. Updated: 7 January 2014


On March 11 2013, history was made when the sale of cosmetics products tested on animals was prohibited across the European Union (EU).

The testing of cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU since 2009 but manufacturers could still test their cosmetics abroad and import into the EU where they were sold to unsuspecting consumers. This confusing situation is now a thing of the past. Although some products sold in the EU may have been tested on animals prior to March 2013, no products animal tested after this date can be marketed.

The ban marks the conclusion of an historic campaign which has seen an end to the use of thousands of animals in cosmetic testing across Europe. ADI sister group the National Anti-Vivisection Society UK (NAVS) campaigned on this issue for over three decades, during which we obtained photographic evidence of the horrors of cosmetic testing, promoted the introduction of alternative methods for cosmetic safety testing and lobbied in both the European and UK Parliaments.

In other parts of the world including China and the US animals continue to be used in cosmetics testing. This means that some multinational companies can be selling non-animal tested products in Europe whilst, at the same time, their branches in countries where animal testing is the norm are selling animal tested products outside of the EU. It is hoped that the pressure of the huge European market will encourage these companies to change their testing methods worldwide.

Further good news from India and Israel is that both countries have banned cosmetic testing on animals. In Israel a prohibition came into effect on January 1, 2013, after regulations were passed and following a 2007 ban on domestic animal cosmetics tests. In India in June, the Bureau of Indian Standards approved the removal of any mention of animal tests from the country’s cosmetics standard.

Change is happening worldwide and ADI in the US can provide lists of cruelty-free products to put consumer pressure on the manufacturers in this country.

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