Animal Aid

Shock EU Move - Cruelty free cosmetics at risk

Posted 17 July 2006

On Wednesday 19th July at noon, outside key Lush stores in London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Cardiff and Bristol, a giant rabbit will be encouraging members of the public to 'Vote Against Animal Testing in Europe' and to place their voting card in a ballot box.

Since 1998, as a result of massive public pressure, there has been a total ban in the UK on the use of animals to test cosmetic products and their ingredients. This is now seriously at risk. With the European Union's controversial chemical testing programme approaching its Second Reading in Brussels, Animal Aid has teamed up with international cruelty-free cosmetics company, Lush, for a series of events to highlight the inevitable suffering of animals should this legislation be passed. As well as the voting cards for customers to sign, the campaign, which will be running all week, will feature window displays and leaflets in every Lush store throughout the UK and Ireland.

The chemical testing programme known as REACH - Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals - seeks to test around 30,000 chemicals, all marketed before 1981, for toxicity. As the legislation stands, around five million animals will be poisoned in a programme lasting 11 years. Although cosmetic ingredients are supposed to be exempt from REACH, many of them are also used in other industries and so could be tested on animals. This means that the hard-won ban in Britain on animal-tested cosmetics and toiletries would become meaningless.

Animal Aid and Lush aim to highlight this issue and have launched their joint 'Vote Against Animal Testing in Europe' campaign.

Says Animal Aid Campaigner, Kate Fowler-Reeves:

"Animal Aid opposes all animal experimentation on ethical and scientific grounds. While safety-testing chemicals is important for human health and the environment, there is no reason why animals should be poisoned to death in the process. Aside from the unimaginable pain and suffering involved in such tests, the data they yield cannot reliably be applied to humans.

"Only people-power can drive this legislation towards an ethical, non-animal testing regime. We urge people to act now. Sign a postcard. Write a letter. Stage a protest. Just don't let millions of animals suffer and die in worthless tests."

Says Lush Campaigns Manager, Andrew Butler:

"Consumers have made it abundantly clear that they do not want their products tested on animals; the UK government has listened and reacted by banning the testing of cosmetics on animals in the UK, but so far has failed to react in any meaningful way to the threat posed by REACH. Visitors to Lush stores will be adding their voices to calls from animal protection groups and concerned scientists who have pointed out that animal suffering and meaningless data will be the only outcome of REACH if it is allowed to go ahead in its current form."

What You Can Do

  • If you would like to leaflet outside your nearest Lush store during the week of 17th-22nd July, contact for more details
  • Visit your nearest Lush store or visit them online at to sign postcards opposing the use of animals in REACH
  • Keep an eye on Animal Aid's website as we will be posting information about how you can help at various stages of the legislature

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