EU cosmetics & animal testing: over for good

A complete ban on animal tested cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU is to go ahead on March 11.

Confirmed in a letter to campaigners, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, is not planning to postpone or derogate the ban (as many beauty companies expected since the ban was planned in 2009).

Borg said in the letter:

“I believe that the ban should enter into force in March 2013 as Parliament and Council have already decided. I am therefore not planning to propose a postponement or derogation to the ban. This decision also means that we need to step up our efforts in the development, validation and acceptance of alternative methods as well as in the international recognition of these methods. I know that ECEAE has been a valuable and knowledgeable partner in these areas and I count on your future support.”

Celebratory activities are planned by pioneer campaigners beauty retailer The Body Shop (always Against Animal Testing) and non-profit organisation Cruelty Free International after 20 years of activism.

“This is a truly historic event,” said Cruelty Free International chief executive Michelle Thew. “Now we will apply our determination and vision on a global stage to ensure the rest of the world follows this lead.”

The ban will be against all cosmetics and toiletries from soap to toothpaste and the uncompromising stance calls for the rest of the world to respond and ban animal testing too.

As The Body Shop’s international values director Paul McGreevy said: “This great achievement in Europe is only the closure of one chapter. The future of beauty must be cruelty free.”

The victory against on animal testing in the EU

 1898 – The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) founded to campaign against all animal testing.

1973 – BUAV first made public the issue of cosmetics testing on animals

1990 – BUAV established the European Coalition to End Cosmetics Tests on Animals (now the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE)) – an alliance of European animal organisations formed to end animal testing for cosmetics in the EU.

1991 – BUAV & ECEAE organise an international march and rally in Brussels and iconic ‘laboratory rabbit’ Vanity tours across Europe to urge MEPs to vote to end animal testing in cosmetics. This began high-profile public and political campaigns across Europe.

1993 – The Body Shop embarks on European-wide campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics in the EU, enlisting support from consumers across Europe. The first beauty company to take action on this issue.

1996 – The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick joins members of the ECEAE, MEPs (and the Pretenders’ lead musician Chrissie Hynde) to present petition of 4 million signatures to the European Commission to end animal testing for cosmetics.

2004 – Ban on animal testing of finished cosmetic products (not ingredients) imposed in Europe

2009 – Testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals in the EU made illegal as well as importing and selling animal tested ingredients into the EU. However, three animal tests were made exempt – to allow them to validate non-animal tests

2011 – BUAV and European partners launch No Cruel Cosmetics campaign calling for import and sales ban in 2013 (as planned in 2009).

2012 – The Body Shop supports launch of Cruelty Free International by the BUAV. Joint campaign for global ban on animal testing for cosmetics

11th March 2013 = a complete ban on animal testing for cosmetics to be implemented in the EU.


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