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March 11, 2013

Be Cruelty-Free Campaign to End Animal Testing for Cosmetics Launches in Russia with Moscow Metro Poster

VITA and Humane Society International collaborate to end cosmetics cruelty

Humane Society International

MOSCOW (11 March 2013) – As the European Union implements its long-awaited ban on selling newly animal-tested cosmetics, VITA Animal Rights Center and global animal protection leader Humane Society International are proud to announce an exciting new collaboration to launch the Russian arm of the Be Cruelty-Free campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics.

Testing cosmetics on animals has been banned in the EU since 2009, and now the sale of cosmetics containing ingredients newly tested on animals in other countries, is also banned. Similar bans have been enacted in Israel, and are under discussion in India. In Russia, however, animal testing for cosmetics is still commonplace, so VITA and HSI will work with companies, policymakers and regulators to see an end to these distressing and painful tests.

To launch their Be Cruelty-Free campaign collaboration and to mark the EU becoming the world’s largest cruelty-free cosmetics market, HSI and VITA have launched Be Cruelty-Free Week with an eye-catching poster campaign on the Moscow Metro and a new thought-provoking animated video called ‘Bright Eyes’ launched via YouTube. Bright Eyes shows animal testing from the perspective of a rabbit called Warren, and was generously donated by Australian Be Cruelty-Free partner Choose Cruelty Free.

President of VITA Animal Rights Center, Irina Novozhilova, said: “VITA is very glad to launch the Be Cruelty-Free campaign in Russia in collaboration with Humane Society International. Russians will have an extra opportunity to learn more about the cosmetics testing problem that exists, and for which there is a lack of public awareness. With this campaign we hope to promote in Russia alternative methods for cosmetics testing that are more humane, produce faster results and, finally, are more reliable from a scientific point of view. We are for science of the 21st century!”

HSI recently joined forces with the Institute for In Vitro Sciences to co-fund a workshop for 11 selected scientists from Russia, in order to provide them with hands-on laboratory training in non-animal tests. The delegates gained first-hand knowledge of how non-animal test methods can be used to assess the safety of cosmetic and personal care products and improve the quality of their research.

Said Troy Seidle, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign director: “Animals used to test new make-up or perfume will endure real suffering including swollen sores, bleeding skin and damage to internal organs. Their suffering is completely avoidable because companies can easily produce cosmetics without new animal testing by using the thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients combined with available non-animal test methods that can produce results far more relevant to humans. The EU is the largest cosmetics market in the world, so if cosmetics animal testing can be ended there, it can be ended anywhere. By bringing Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign to Russia and working as partners with VITA, we hope that Russia will be next in line to end cosmetics cruelty.”

HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign is leading efforts across the globe to end cosmetics animal testing through regulatory reform, consumer action and company policy change. The campaign is active as far and wide as Australia, India, South Korea, Brazil and Canada. In the United States, HSI partner The Humane Society of the United States spearheads the campaign. Be Cruelty-Free has received support from global celebrities including Dame Judi Dench and Sir Paul McCartney.

To celebrate Be Cruelty-Free Week and help end cosmetics animal suffering in Russia and worldwide, sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge here or at your local Lush Cosmetics store.

ENDS

Media contacts:

VITA: vita-russia@yandex.ru

HSI United Kingdom: Wendy Higgins: +44 7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree.

VITA Animal Rights Center (vita- Latin for "life") is a non-profit animal protection organisation aiming at the prevention of cruelty towards animals. VITA peaceably campaigns against many forms of maltreatment of animals including intensive farming, fur production, animal testing and animals in entertainment. vita.org.ru.

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