Animal testing of cosmetics: MEPs call for worldwide ban

A diplomatic drive for a worldwide ban of animal testing for cosmetics before 2023 will be put to a Parliament vote in March in Strasburg. The sale of all animal-tested cosmetics has been banned in the EU since 2013, however MEPs state that this has not prevented the EU cosmetics industry from thriving due to loopholes in legislation and providing around two million jobs.

Such loopholes within the EU system include as some cosmetics are tested on animals outside the EU before being re-tested in the EU using alternative methods and placed on the EU market and that most cosmetic product ingredients are also used in many other products, such as pharmaceuticals, detergents or foods, and may therefore have been tested on animals under a different legal framework. They call on the EU to support the development of alternative testing methods.

To work towards a global ban on both animal testing for cosmetics and on the trade in cosmetic ingredients tested on animals, MEPs call on EU leaders to use their diplomatic networks to build a coalition and to launch an international convention within the UN framework.

They also want to make sure that the EU ban is not weakened, whether in trade negotiations or by World Trade Organisation rules and ensure that no product placed on its market has been tested on animals in a third country.

Did YOU know around 80% of countries worldwide still allow animal testing and the marketing of cosmetics tested on animals?

Next steps
The resolution was approved unanimously by 63 votes, with 1 abstention. It will be put to a vote at Parliament’s March plenary session in Strasbourg.

According to the Special Eurobarometer survey No 442 of March 2016, 89% of EU citizens agree that the EU should do more to promote a greater awareness of the importance of animal welfare internationally, and 90% of EU citizens agree that it is important to establish high animal welfare standards that are recognised across the world.

Click here to find out more about how Animal Justice Project are fighting to end animal experimentation.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of this cruel, outdated and unnecessary practice.

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Durham Research Could Help Put An End To Animal Research

New research from Durham University could help put an end to animal testing!

The department of Biosciences at the University has created a substance called Alvetex. This is a polystyrene scaffold which can be used to support the growth of human tissues in three dimensions, from cells cultivated in the laboratory.

This development allows for more realistic and accurate drug testing than in previous studies, which have relied on two-dimensional cell cultures in petri dishes.

Most importantly, this new substance will reduce the need for animal experimentation, a topic which was brought to light again last week after a new biomedical research centre opened up at Bristol University. Animal Justice Project gathered outside the building with striking placards and props making a stand and talking to the public about the amount of horrific animal torture going on in the University.

Professor Stefan Przyborski, of Durham University, suggested that the growth of three-dimensional cell cultures would ‘have benefits for the number of animals used in research’. Przyborski founded a business venture to commercialise Alvetex, which has recently opened a new European headquarters in Glasgow.

Current uses of the substance include studying the impact of the environment on synthetic human tissue; developing three-dimensional human tissue models from pre-existing two-dimensional models; and creating a model of the human intestine for further study of the impacts of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Click here to find out more about how Animal Justice Project are fighting to end animal experimentation in universities.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of this cruel form of animal torture.

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Labour Party – The Animal Welfare Plan

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, vegetarian of 20 years, has launched the party’s ‘radical’ animal welfare programme, which lays out a 50-point plan called Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few.

In this policy he has promised to ‘look at’ introducing a ban on exporting live animals for slaughter. This has been a campaign aim for animal welfare advocates for many years.

The party have highlighted issues about animal experimentation in their programme. Points include; making testing project licenses open and transparent; to commit to a ban on the export of animals in research and to commit to ending the permitting of ‘severe’ suffering.   

This announcement has come days after the Labour leader promised to take the energy industry into democratic public control, in order to lower carbon emissions to fight climate change, and reduce bills for families and businesses.

Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said: ‘Labour is the party of animal welfare. From bringing in the ban on fox hunting to tightening the rules on the transport of live animals.

Among many other policies, Labour have promised to expand the definition of animal to include decapod crustaceans (lobsters, for example) and cephalopods (like squid) in line with other countries including Switzerland, New Zealand and Norway.  

The parties 50-point policy is broken down into five sections:

Domestic Pets

  • Prohibit the third party sale of puppies. All puppies will need to be sold with their mother on site.
  • Take increased measures to tackle puppy smuggling
      • Reintroduction of rabies testing before entry into the UK
      • Increase post rabies test period to three months
      • Introduce a microchip database and record microchip numbers upon entry
  • Ban the use of animal shock collars, including sale and importation.
  • Improve accessibility to vets for those on low incomes/receiving financial support, working with organisations to explore how access to affordable vet care can be expanded.
  • Require motorists to report accidents where an animal has been injured.
  • Expand mandatory microchipping to cats.
  • Phase in restrictions on pet primates.
  • Raise the penalty for dog-fighting to three years in line with Northern Ireland.
  • Consult with landlords and tenants on the ability for tenants to keep pets as default unless there is evidence that the animal is causing a nuisance.
  • Work with care home providers and advocate groups to explore the potential for elderly and disabled people who move into care homes to be able to keep their pets.
  • Establish a full-time, independent zoo inspectorate to draw up revised standards of animal welfare in the UK’s zoos to ensure consistency in licensing and inspection.


Factory Farming and Slaughterhouses

  • Ban live exports for slaughter or fattening. This would include an exemption for breeding 
  • animals providing provision is in place ensuring they are transported under genuinely high welfare standard
    s. This would also include an exemption for livestock transported across the Northern Ireland border.
  • Mandatory labelling of meat, both domestic and imported. This would include details on country of origin, method of production and method of slaughter (stun or non-stun).
  • Total ban on imports of Foie Gras so as to restrict the market for this cruel and inhumane product.
  • Issue new guidance to end the use of antibiotics for routine, preventative purposes with farm animals. Anti-microbial resistance is becoming an increasing problem leading to antibiotics being less effective.
  • Introduce mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses, including where horses are slaughtered, and make this footage available to the Food Standards Agency and/or other government departments where there is a clear case to.
  • Introduce a formal whistle blowing procedure through the Food Standards Agency to enable employees to report bad behaviour and practice within abattoirs.
  • Review of training and standards within slaughterhouses.
  • Increased accountability of poor employment and management practices that drive down working culture.
  • Introduce phased ban on sow farrowing crates with a reasonable phase-out period, replacing with safe, free-farrowing systems.
  • End use of cages on British farms.
  • Consultation on the expansion of ‘megafarms’ to detail their effects on animal welfare standards. The recent increase in industrialised farming under this Conservative government poses serious questions in relation to animal welfare post-Brexit.
  • Design post-Brexit farm subsidies to move away from intensive factory farming and bad environmental practices.


Wild Animals

  • Enhance and strengthen the Hunting Act, closing loopholes that allow for illegal hunting of foxes and hares.
  • End the badger cull.
  • Make illegal hunting and all wildlife crime a reportable offence.
  • Ban wild animals in circuses.
  • Introduce and enforce a total ban on ivory trading.
  • Ban intensive rearing of game birds for shooting.
  • Tackle the illegal wildlife trade and clamp down on trophy hunting. Ending the import of wild animal trophies from species that are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as critically endangered. Expand this ban to species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  • Increase penalties for criminal behaviour as well as improve enforcement and prosecution rates for the persecution of birds of prey.
  • Tackle the trade in fur by requiring shops to prominently label items containing real fur and phase in a ban on all fur imports.
  • Introduce a ‘Blue Belt’ to protect and enhance our marine environment around the UK and overseas territories.
  • We will consult on the creation of National Marine Parks.
  • Embed and enhance in policy the responsibility for farmers to conserve, enhance and create safe habitats for birds and animals during the breeding season, and encourage the growth of wildflowers.


Animals in Sport

  • Issue best practice on responsible ownership, specifically for animals in sport.
  • Introduce better mechanisms to trace ownership.
  • Implement a centralised database to record what happens to greyhounds after they are no longer fit to race.


Animals Used in Research

  • Commit to ending within an achievable timeframe, the permitting of ‘severe’ suffering as defined in UK legislation.
  • Commit to a stringent review of defined areas in regulatory testing, with the aim of identifying and eliminating avoidable tests.
  • Commit to a ban on the export of animals for use in research unless with specific consent from the Home Office consent where there would otherwise be greater welfare detriment.
  • Make animal testing project licenses open and transparent. This would be undertaken in such a way as to ensure addresses and names of individuals were not exposed.
  • Contribute to the development and validation of non-animal research methods and technologies and encourage research in the field.

READ MORE about Labour’s animal rights policies here.


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Animal Justice Project tell Nottingham University: ‘Stop testing on more than 25,000 animals a year’!

Animal Justice Project are calling for the University of Nottingham to end its testing on more than 25,000 animals a year – of which 132 experiments were classed as ‘severe.’ In 2016, 25,449 procedures were conducted on animals at the University of Nottingham. Animals involved in research include mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, pigs, sheep, cattle and fish.

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Animal Justice Project Tells Bristol University No More Animal Experiments!

Twenty-five activists and supportive members of the public came together to protest against the University of Bristol experimenting on over 26,000 animals a year – including rodents, pigs and cats.

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NYC Proposes Banning Import And Sale Of New Animal Tested Cosmetics

New York City has proposed an act, The New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act, that will stop the import and sale of any product tested on animals from the date the law comes into effect. If the law is passed it will make New York the first US state to introduce legislation of this kind.

The bill, which was first brought about in 2016 thanks to Cruelty Free International, was re-introduced last year and will mean that New York will join the European Union, Norway, Israel, and India in prohibiting the sale of new animal tested cosmetics.

The act would ban animal testing for cosmetics after a one-year phase in and followed by a three-year phase in period for a ban on the sale of animal tested cosmetics. The European Union took a similar approach in 2003 when they began the ban on the testing of cosmetic products on animals. The marketing ban was finalised on March 11th 2013, after that date no tested products could be sold there. This longer phase in period for the EU was to allow opportunity for alternatives to be developed and accepted by international testing authorities.  

New York has long been a leader in promoting modern alternatives to animal testing. In 2008 the state passed a bill making it illegal to conduct cosmetics animal testing if an alternative method is available.

The North American Campaign Manager for Cruelty Free International said ‘the legislation sets an example for the rest of the United States to catch up with the global demand for safe and humane cosmetics.’

The next step is for the bill to be heard in a committee before proceeding to a floor vote.


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