We find it deeply concerning that, while animal testing for makeup or its ingredients had been completely banned in the UK since 1998, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) ruled in 2020 that companies need to test some ingredients used in cosmetics on animals to ensure they were safe for workers manufacturing the ingredients. Furthermore, since 2019, the government had been issuing licenses for animal testing of cosmetic ingredients in line with EU chemical rules, which it retained despite leaving the EU in 2020.
It's important to note that manufacturers still cannot undertake any animal testing to check the safety of makeup for consumers, as this should be done using other methods. However, the change in policy still allows for testing chemicals commonly found in foundations and concealers on animals such as rats.
READ MORE: Cruelty-Free 101: Testing Finished Products vs. Ingredients
Cruelty Free International (CFI), which brought the case to court, argued that this policy change was illegal and in breach of the animal testing ban for makeup and its ingredients that has been in place since 1998. Unfortunately, Mr. Justice Linden ruled in favor of the government, stating that the change in policy still met existing laws. He did, however, find it "regrettable" that the public had not been informed.
This decision has been met with heavy criticism from major beauty and cosmetic brands, including Unilever, The Body Shop, and Boots, some of which have long campaigned to end animal testing. CFI called the government's effective lifting of the ban "outrageous," while Christopher Davis, director of activism and sustainability at The Body Shop, stated that they would "campaign vigorously" against the changes.
At Cruelty-Free Kitty, we're deeply shocked and distressed by the recent ruling that has sent ripples through the cosmetics industry. We strongly condemn this decision, asserting that animal testing is not only profoundly cruel, but also utterly unnecessary. We firmly believe that there are far more humane and effective alternatives available, making the reliance on animal testing both outdated and unjustifiable.
Moreover, we find ourselves troubled by the misleading headlines currently making the rounds in the media. These reports inaccurately suggest that makeup in the UK will continue to avoid animal testing. This, unfortunately, is a half-truth. While the final products may not undergo animal testing, the current ruling still allows for individual ingredients to be tested on animals—a crucial detail that these reports conveniently ignore.
We are deeply disappointed by this development and share the concerns of our fellow cruelty-free advocates. CFI has announced that they will appeal the court's decision and ask the government to reinstate the complete ban in the UK. We stand in solidarity with them and will continue to fight for the rights of animals and the end of animal testing in cosmetics.
Thank you to everyone who firmly believes that animals are not to be used in cruel experiments. We urge you to continue supporting cruelty-free companies that are making a difference worldwide. If any new developments unfold, we will keep you up to date.
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