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Your top 10 ten questions answered!
In February 2003, the EU agreed a ban on cosmetics animal testing, which came into effect in two stages.
The first stage was implemented on 11th March 2009, when the 7th amendment to the Cosmetics Directive brought into force two bans, and it became illegal to:
However, three types of animal tests were exempt from this sales or ‘marketing’ ban in order to allow non-animal alternative testing methods to be validated.
The three animal tests still allowed were:
On 11th March 2013, the EU is set to implement the second and final stage of the ban, prohibiting the import and sale of all newly animal-tested cosmetic products and ingredients in the European Union.
In cosmetics research, painful experiments are carried out worldwide on thousands of animals every year, including, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats. This includes tests for skin or eye irritation, skin sensitisation (allergy), toxicity (poisoning), mutagenicity (genetic damage), teratogencity (birth defects), carcinogenicity (causing cancer), embryonic or fetal genetic damage and toxicokinetics (to study the absorption, metabolism, distribution and excretion of the substance).
There are a variety of approved alternatives that can replace cruel animal tests. Combinations of existing ingredients that have already been established as safe for human use can also be utilised.
It has been estimated that there are around 15,000 ingredients already proven safe for use. More and more cruelty free companies are saying no to animal testing and still produce safe, effective and high quality beauty products.
It's easy! Consumers can help by buying cruelty free products. Some of the Europe’s leading high street retailers are approved under the ECEAE’s Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) and/or Humane Household Products Standard (HHPS) so it's now easier than ever to buy products which are not tested on animals.
What is the Humane Cosmetics Standard?
Launched in 1998, the HCS is the only internationally recognised scheme that enables consumers to easily identify and purchase cosmetic and toiletry products that have not been tested on animals.
A company can display the Leaping Bunny logo if they have been approved under the Humane Cosmetics Standard.
If you see our Leaping Bunny logo on a product, you can be absolutely sure:
There are a number of retailers and animal groups promoting their own cruelty free schemes. However, the companies approved by them have sometimes done no more than issue a convincing — yet misleading — policy statement on animal testing.
The HCS/HHPS (Household Products) is the only internationally recognised Standard that guarantees a product is completely free from animal testing within a company’s supply chain after a fixed date, as it requires companies to prove what they claim. It is the only scheme that requires each company to be open to an independent audit throughout its supply chain, to ensure that they adhere to their animal testing policy and the Standard's strict criteria.
The company making the product does not do any testing on animals, and does not formally request that animal testing is done on their behalf. But this may not prevent them buying ingredients from suppliers who do.
The company donates money to an organisation promoting alternative testing methods. But this would not prevent them using animal testing in their supply chain or their final product.
Go to www.gocrueltyfree.org for a list of all the companies that are approved under the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) and Household Product Standard (HHPS). You can search for brands available in your country, or by the brand name.