Use of Animals in Cosmetics Testing

Posted on the 22nd May 2023

You will have noticed the recent judicial review brought by Cruelty Free International in connection with the use of animals in cosmetics testing, which has sparked a significant public outcry and media attention.

The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, was quoted, by the BBC, acknowledging the public’s concerns about animal testing of chemicals used in cosmetics and the potential to depart from EU testing regulations. As a national group who have campaigned against animal experiments for more than four decades, we are acutely aware of the importance of this issue to our supporters, a huge proportion of the public and a significant number of cross-party MPs.

The Home Secretary was further quoted as saying: “I can confirm, therefore, that from today no new licences will be granted for animal testing of chemicals that are exclusively intended to be used as ingredients in cosmetics products… the government is also engaging with the relevant companies to urgently determine a way forward on these legacy licences.” (Emphasis added)

Whilst we find some reassurance in this decision regarding worker and environmental safety for exclusive use ingredients, we have contacted Ms Braverman to urge the government to extend this policy to cover multi-use ingredients. Failing to do so would endanger the British public’s trust in the ‘no animal tests for cosmetics in the UK’ principle and result in the suffering and death of countless animals for ingredients that might be used in cosmetics. Additionally, we have urged the UK government to recall and cancel all the current Procedure Project Licences (PPLs) which currently have animals ‘on project’, and involve ingredients used solely in cosmetics, and all those current PPLs to test multi-use chemicals which are, or may, be used in cosmetics.

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