Today, 11 March, was meant to be a celebration of freedom for animals from cruel cosmetics tests. However, despite bans and promises by decision-makers, rabbits, rats, and other animals are still being force-fed cosmetics ingredients.
In 1998, the UK became the first country to ban experiments on animals for cosmetics products and ingredients. Fifteen years later, on 11 March 2013, a sales ban passed in alignment with EU legislation at that time, meaning that companies wishing to bring any new cosmetics products or ingredients to market could no longer use new animal test data to demonstrate their safety.
Sounds promising, right? So why are thousands of rabbits, rats, mice, and other animals still being used as test tubes?
Rabbits Are Forced to Ingest Sunscreen Ingredients
Over 400 chemicals are registered in the EU as ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics, and some of these are subject to new animal testing requests by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
These tests involve forcing tens of thousands of rats, rabbits, or fish to ingest shampoo or sun cream ingredients for months at a time. In some cases, pregnant animals are force-fed these chemicals before they and their unborn offspring are killed and dissected. In other tests, experimenters allow the offspring to be born, only for them to experience the same miserable fate as their mothers.
PETA has previously exposed that cosmetics products tested on animals in China are sold in shops and supermarkets across the UK. Now, the government is going a step further by following ECHA policy and allowing ingredients to be tested on animals for UK regulatory purposes.
These tests completely undermine the purpose of the ban: to bring safe cosmetics to market without requiring new tests on animals.
No Animal Should Suffer or Be Killed in Cruel Cosmetics Tests
There is a wealth of superior non-animal methods for assessing the safety of cosmetics and their ingredients – including cutting-edge tools like three-dimensional tissue models, advanced computer simulations, and species-relevant exposure data. All these methods that actually belong in the 21st century are routinely used to assess the safety of cosmetics without archaic tests that are harming animals.
Experts can now predict how an ingredient or combination of ingredients will affect the human body or the impact they may have on the environment – results that tests on rats, rabbits, and fish are unable to match.
Unsurprisingly, the PETA US database of companies that don’t test on animals lists over 6,100 brands, including Dove, Herbal Essences, Aveda, e.l.f., Tropic Skincare, and Urban Decay. These companies have pledged never to conduct, commission, pay for, or allow tests on animals at any phase of development for ingredients or final products. They’re required to have agreements in place with their suppliers guaranteeing that the ingredients they purchase weren’t tested on animals.
Take Action for Animals in Laboratories
Every time you buy cosmetics or household products, you are voting with your wallet for a cruelty-free future or for sentencing animals to torment and death in laboratories.
Right now, millions of animals need your support. Pledge to buy only cruelty-free products and support PETA’s campaign to end all cosmetics tests on animals: