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Cruelty Free International urges public and MPs to request government commitment to phase-out of animal testing

Cruelty Free International

4 min read Partner content

NGO also demands that animal testing for cosmetics be made illegal.

MPs are being urged to sign a pledge in support of policies setting out concrete steps to phase out animal testing in the UK, as part of a new campaign launched by animal protection NGO, Cruelty Free International.

The pledge can be signed at https://crueltyfreeinternational.org/pledgecrueltyfree, with constituents encouraged to lobby their MP.

The campaign, which runs until the next General Election, and which Cruelty Free International says will demonstrate the strength of public feeling to UK politicians, is a direct response to the government’s decision1, revealed in May, to secretly abandon the UK’s 1998 ban on animal testing for cosmetics. This information came to light as part of Cruelty Free International’s legal challenge to the Home Office on the UK’s policy on animal testing.

Since this revelation, the government has partially reinstated the cosmetics testing ban, to include ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics but, as this only covers approximately 20% of the total ingredients used in cosmetics, that is not enough.

MPs are encouraged to make a commitment to supporting policies which will set the UK on track for a cruelty free future, including putting the 1998 ban, covering ingredients used both predominantly and exclusively in cosmetics, into law, so that future governments can’t reverse it in secret; making our homes safer by removing animals and modernising the system for testing the chemicals that go into the products we use every day; and asking that the government create a plan to phase-out animal testing forever, with concrete milestones and achievable steps.

Members of the public are asked to show their own support for these policies and encourage their MPs to do the same, in a bid to create a world where people can enjoy cosmetics, and everyday products such as food, clothes, household cleaning, furniture, electronic goods, paints and dyes, without with the need for cruel animal testing in the manufacturing process.

Home Office statistics show that there were over 2.76 million uses of animals in laboratories in Great Britain in 20222. Ten per cent of those are tests required by regulators to assess the safety or effectiveness of chemicals, medicines and other products. In contrast, 45% of all uses were in the creation and breeding of genetically altered animals; and a further 29% in basic, curiosity-driven research that attempts to shed light on biological processes.

Cruelty Free International say that many of these tests, which aren’t required by regulators and are essentially voluntary, could be removed with very little impact. They argue this should be one of the first areas to be addressed in a comprehensive government-led phase-out plan. Many other animal tests could be ended immediately, as they are conducted despite already having approved non-animal alternatives available.

Dylan Underhill, Head of Public Affairs, Cruelty Free International, said: “The UK stands at a crossroads in its approach to animal testing, and we know that, as a country, we can do so much better. Animal testing touches our lives in many ways that most of us don’t appreciate, from cosmetics and household products to clothes, furniture, plastics, electronic and white goods, paints, dyes, and food. To stop millions of animals being used in needless and painful tests every year, we need progress and compassion, not the same old status quo.

“The number of tests performed on animals in Britain has seen small year-on-year reductions, which we welcome, but politicians, regulators and researchers must be proactive in ensuring that this progress not only continues but accelerates. The government must honour the Home Secretary’s commitment towards developing alternatives to animal testing, especially when modern innovations in non-animal methods can produce better results, potentially saving lives and resources. We call on the government to put the 1998 cosmetics ban into law, set out concrete steps to build a modern, cruelty free system for assuring chemicals safety, and draw up a plan to phase out animal testing for good, including a new ministerial role to deliver the plan, dedicated to accelerating the transition to humane and human-relevant science.”


For further information and to request interviews, please contact Steve Gibbs on +44 (0) 7850 510955 or email steve.gibbs@crueltyfreeinternational.org.

Cruelty Free International CEO, Michelle Thew is available for interview.

1. http://crueltyfreeinternational.org/latest-news-and-updates/uk-government-admits-it-secretly-abandoned-cosmetics-animal-testing-ban

2. https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn02720/

Cruelty Free International is one of the world’s longest standing and most respected animal protection organizations. The organization is widely regarded as an authority on animal testing issues and is frequently called upon by governments, media, corporations and official bodies for its advice or expert opinion.

www.crueltyfreeinternational.org

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