365 days, 27 countries, and a whopping 1,413,383 signatures. The “Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics” European citizens’ initiative (ECI), which calls on the European Commission to commit to a Europe without animal testing, has closed – and what a result!
For a record-breaking second time, well over 1 million people across the European Union have said loud and clear that animal testing must end.
An enormous thank you to everyone who signed the initiative, shared it with friends, and helped us with this historic achievement, bringing us closer to ending cruel animal experiments! The European Commission has no choice now but to listen.
To date, only six of the 90 registered ECIs have successfully completed the validation stage. Therefore, collecting over 1 million signatures sends a strong message to EU officials.
PETA entities worldwide are incredibly proud of this collaborative landmark and await validation of the signatures with bated breath. The people of Europe have made their feelings clear: the European Commission must come forward with substantive legislative proposals to phase out animal experiments and end the suffering of millions of animals in laboratories.
PETA Campaigned Relentlessly to Get Us Over the Line
We created impactful videos featuring the gut-wrenching sounds of animals screaming in laboratories and the horrified reaction of celebrities, including Thalia Heffernan, Holly White, Greg O’Shea, Emmett J Scanlan, Ferdia Shaw, and Victoria Smurfit, which reached thousands of people across Ireland. We also worked with celebrities and influencers in Italy and France, making noise across the continent.
We held protests and demos throughout Europe, including a crate of “crying monkeys” in Italy, “dancing animals” outside the European Parliament in Brussels, and much, much more over the course of the year-long signature collection period to ensure that everyone across the EU heard about the ECI and was able to take action.
Our ECI will go through a strict verification procedure in which each government checks that every signature is from a real person and that they have only signed the ECI once.
The organisers of the initiative have three months to submit signatures to member state competent authorities for validation before they can take it to the European Commission and Parliament for action. We have to wait several months to see if our ECI will be validated by EU member states.
The initiative will have a full plenary hearing in the European Parliament, possibly followed by a vote. The Commission must then release a formal response detailing what, if any, action it will propose in response to the ECI and the reasons behind its decision.
How the ECI Will Help Animals in EU Laboratories
This ECI aims to change the status quo, in which over 10 million cats, dogs, rabbits, mice, and other animals suffer in laboratories around Europe every year.
They can all feel pain and fear just like humans, yet pregnant rodents and their offspring are poisoned, killed, and dissected; rabbits’ skin is burned with chemicals; dogs are force-fed pesticides; and many more animals are tormented and killed.
Animal-Free Testing Is the Future
The ECI could bring about a shift in science in the EU. It is estimated that between 50% and 89% of preclinical research is not reproducible, and the use of animals is frequently highlighted as a serious problem area. We need to redirect resources away from unreliable experimentation on animals and invest in superior, non-animal research.
We Still Need Your Help
This is an unprecedented milestone, but we still have more work to do and we will need your help at key points in this campaign. To keep up-to-date with this campaign and help at the next stage, please ensure you have subscribed to PETA News and joined our action team:
In the meantime, you can still help animals in laboratories using our action page: