Animal rights campaigners are celebrating the European Union’s decision to ban the import and sale of cosmetics and toiletries tested on animals
Previously, products tested on animals outside of the EU could be sold. But as of 11 March 2013, beauty products, as well as toiletries including soap and toothpaste, will be removed from stores across the UK.
Campaigners from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hailed the new measures as a “great day for animals, consumers and science” and said the changes would save the lives of thousands of animals.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Thanks to the ban, companies have been investing in modern, humane non-animal testing methods, developing fantastic new tests that save animals’ lives and protect people far better.
“We can now use human cells and tissues, high speed computer models and cutting-edge techniques that weren’t available when cosmetics tests on animals started in the 1920s,” added the spokesperson.
In total, 55 countries across the world have signed a pledge to support the end of animal testing in cosmetics. Wendy Higgins, EU communications director for Humane Society International, said she hopes this ban will change the opinions of other countries around the world.
“Companies still animal testing in the United States, Brazil, India and elsewhere now have a clear choice to make, and consumers are watching – we urge them to take this opportunity to commit to going cruelty-free,” she said.
The European ban follows a move by Israel who, at the beginning of the year, became the first country to ban the import, sale and marketing of cosmetics, toiletries and household cleaners tested on animals.