After over 20 years of campaigning, ethical beauty retailer The Body Shop and
non-profit organisation Cruelty Free International are finally celebrating the end to
animal testing for cosmetics in Europe with the anticipated announcement that the import
and sale of animal tested cosmetic products and ingredients is to be banned in the EU on
11th March 2013.
This ground breaking victory means that from 11th March onwards, anyone who wishes to
sell new cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU must not test them on animals
anywhere in the world. The ban affects all cosmetics including toiletries and beauty
products from soap to toothpaste. The Body Shop is one of the few beauty brands who will
not be affected by the ban, having always been Against Animal Testing.
The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International are launching a range of special
commemorative activities in the countdown to 11th March, sparked by personal confirmation
from Commissioner Tonio Borg that the ban is due to go ahead as proposed. Mr Borg wrote in
a recent letter to the animal testing campaigners, "I believe that the ban should enter
into force in March 2013 as Parliament and Council have already decided. I am therefore
not planning to propose a postponement or derogation to the ban."
The proposed ban sends a strong message worldwide in support of cruelty free beauty
and in particular to countries such as China, who still demand animal testing for
cosmetics, to also respond and ban testing on animals.
Cruelty Free International Chief Executive, Michelle Thew said: "This is truly an
historic event and the culmination of over 20 years of campaigning. Now we will apply our
determination and vision on a global stage to ensure that the rest of the world follows
Paul McGreevy, International Values Director at The Body Shop paid tribute to
customers who have supported the company's campaign against animal testing in cosmetics
for many years and said: "This great achievement in Europe is only the closure of one
chapter. The future of beauty must be cruelty free."
In 1991, the BUAV (founder of Cruelty Free International) established a European
coalition of leading animal protection organisations across Europe (ECEAE) with the
objective to end the use of animal testing for cosmetics. This set in motion a
high-profile public and political campaign across Europe spanning over 20 years. In 1993,
The Body Shop, the first beauty company to take action on animal testing for cosmetics,
supported the campaign by enlisting the support of its consumers across Europe. Three
years later in 1996, Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, joined members of the
ECEAE and MEPs in presenting a petition containing 4 million signatures to the European
In 2012, the BUAV established Cruelty Free International, the first global
organisation dedicated to ending cosmetics animal testing worldwide. The Body Shop
together with Cruelty Free International launched a new international campaign which has
so far resulted in customers from 55 countries signing a global pledge supporting an end
to animal testing for cosmetics forever.
The EU ban on the import and sale of animal tested products has been planned since
2009, however many beauty companies were expecting the ban to be delayed or derogated ,
allowing them to continue testing cosmetic products and ingredients on animals until they
could find alternative methods. However, the new European Commissioner for Health and
Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, confirmed in a recent letter that the ban is to remain in
"I believe that the ban should enter into force in March 2013 as Parliament and
Council have already decided. I am therefore not planning to propose a postponement or
derogation to the ban. This decision also means that we need to step up our efforts in the
development, validation and acceptance of alternative methods as well as in the
international recognition of these methods. I know that ECEAE has been a valuable and
knowledgeable partner in these areas and I count on your future support."
Cruelty Free International Chief Executive Michelle Thew is meeting with Commissioner
Tonio Borg on Wednesday 30th January on behalf of the European Coalition to End Animal
Experiments (ECEAE) to discuss the implementation of the ban.
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