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February 25, 2013

As Europe Bans Sale of Animal-Tested Cosmetics, LUSH and HSI CEOs Call for Global End to Cosmetics Cruelty

Humane Society International

  • Be Cruelty-Free. iStock

London—As the European Union prepares to finally ban the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics on 11 March, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Co-Founder and MD Mark Constantine, and Andrew Rowan, president and CEO of Humane Society International, one of the largest animal protection groups in the world, have sent an open letter to the global cosmetics industry calling on it to abandon animal testing once and for all.

Whilst testing cosmetics on animals has been banned across the EU since 2009, it is still legal to sell cosmetics that have been tested on animals in other countries. That is all set to change from 11 March when a ban on selling newly animal tested cosmetics - first promised by politicians 20 years ago and delayed several times since then - finally comes into force. Any beauty product—from shampoo and mascara to toothpaste and anti-wrinkle cream—will be prohibited from sale if it contains ingredients tested on animals after 11 March.

HSI and LUSH have campaigned for many years to end cosmetics animal testing. LUSH, which has more than 800 shops in 51 countries, first launched its strictly ‘no animal testing’ policy in 1991, becoming a beacon for ethical, compassionate cosmetics. HSI has led an intense and high-profile campaign to see the EU sales ban enforced, and in April last year launched Be Cruelty-Free, the largest global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics worldwide.

In a letter sent to cosmetics industry trade associations around the globe, LUSH and HSI call on animal-testing companies across the world to choose the EU sales ban as the moment to go cruelty-free. The letter reads:

“On 11th March we will witness a truly landmark moment in the history of the beauty industry. The world’s largest cosmetics market, the European Union, which has already banned animal testing of cosmetics within its own borders, will also close its doors to the sale of cosmetics tested on animals in other markets. This sales ban carries with it a clarion call from consumers: Cosmetics animal testing is not welcome and it needs to stop. Surely this must signal a turning point for the beauty industry worldwide to finally call an end to animal testing and commit to going cruelty-free?

LUSH, Humane Society International and others have campaigned tirelessly to end cosmetics cruelty. Over the years we have heard every excuse in the book from cosmetics companies clinging on to animal testing, yet one by one those excuses have been exposed to be hollow and self-serving.

Animal toxicity tests represent outdated science of decades-old techniques that cannot reliably assure consumer safety. The future of safety testing lies with modern, human-biology-based methods. So there is no scientific excuse for animal testing.

There are also many thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients that have long been established as safe for use, meaning they don’t require any new testing. Myriad combinations of these allow companies such as LUSH to innovate to their heart’s content. So there is no business excuse for animal testing.

And of course animal testing causes unimaginable suffering as rabbits and other animals have chemicals dripped in their eyes or spread on their delicate skin. Swollen eyes, skin rashes and organ damage are the ugly hidden secrets of a beauty industry that has dragged its feet on ending animal testing. So there is no ethical excuse for animal testing.

Hundreds of cruelty-free retailers such as LUSH demonstrate every day that producing exciting, safe and innovative beauty products is entirely possible without new animal testing. So as we celebrate the EU going cruelty-free, we urge all those companies still testing cosmetics on animals in the United States, China, Brazil, India, Canada, South Korea, Russia and beyond to please do the decent thing and stop the suffering. Show your global customers that beauty isn’t just skin deep—that it has a heart. You have it within your collective power to stop cosmetics cruelty today. Please do it. Enough is enough.”

To mark the historic EU sales ban, sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge at hsi.org/becrueltyfree and help HSI create a world where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics.


Media Contact:

Humane Society International—Wendy Higgins, +44(0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org

LUSH—Gina Walker, +44(0)20 7434 3948, gina@lush.co.uk


The EU ban will make it illegal, from 11 March 2013, to import or market a cosmetic product within the European Union if it contains ingredients that have been animal-tested outside of the EU after 11 March 2013. It therefore prohibits the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics.

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Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—on the Web at hsi.org.

LUSH: Since establishing 18 years ago, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics has been driven by innovation and its ethics. Creators of pioneering beauty products such as the fizzing bath ballistic, shower jellies, solid shampoo bars and Toothy Tabs solid toothpaste. LUSH places emphasis on fresh ingredients like organic fruits and vegetables.  LUSH operates a strict policy against animal testing and supports Fair Trade and Community Trade initiatives. LUSH leads the cosmetics industry in combating over-packaging by running public awareness campaigns and developing products that can be sold ‘naked’ to the consumer without any packaging. LUSH has been awarded the RSPCA Good Business Award for 2006 and 2007, the 2006 PETA Trailblazer Award for Animal Welfare and the International Fund for Animal Welfare ‘Business of the Year’ award for 2010. Co-founders Mark and Mo Constantine were awarded OBEs for services to the beauty industry in the New Year’s honours list 2010. LUSH currently has over 822 shops worldwide and are present in 51 countries, with manufacturing sites across the world.

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