Date Published: 18 January 2011

More lab animals will suffer if EU cosmetics sales ban is postponed

Animal News from the UK
The RSPCA is horrified that a delay to new European Legislation is being considered - the result of which would be yet more suffering inflicted on laboratory animals

The (UK) RSPCA, together with concerned animal-lovers, are urging the European Commission and European Parliament to ignore calls from parts of the cosmetics industry to delay a sales ban on cosmetics tested on laboratory animals.

A delay until 2018, or until alternative methods become available, has been proposed because some tests that don’t use animals are not expected to be available by 2013, when the ban is currently due to come into force.

Whilst accepting that there are not yet replacements for some animal tests, the RSPCA is demanding that the EU Commission respects the overwhelming public opinion and keeps to the original deadline.

Animal tests not justified

RSPCA senior scientific officer Dr Barry Phillips said:

I am horrified that the European Commission is considering a proposal to delay the ban, as I’m sure the public will be.
" There are more than enough cosmetic products available and thousands of cosmetic ingredients that are already established as safe. It’s simply not necessary or justifiable to develop new cosmetic products at the cost of animal suffering.

After years of campaigning by the RSPCA, the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients has been banned throughout the EU. To prevent companies carrying out tests in countries outside the EU and selling them within it, the sale of animal-tested cosmetics was also banned from March 2009. However, some tests on animals were exempted from the sales ban until 2013. This was because more time was needed to develop alternative non-animal tests for some potential negative effects on health. This is the ban that will potentially be delayed.

Find alternatives or do without

Dr Phillips said:

The industry has known for years that this ban was coming. More should have been done to find alternatives to tests on animals. If companies can’t make new cosmetics ingredients without causing animal suffering, they will just have to make do with the ten thousand ingredients they already have available to them.”

UK Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has tabled an Early Day Motion (1242) calling for the UK government to take all necessary steps to maintain the 2013 deadline. Concerned members of the public (especially residents of EU countries) are urged to write to their MP and MEPs.

The RSPCA is a charity and relies solely on donations from the public to keep running. If you would like to help, log onto
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Source: RSPCA, Press Release.

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