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March 2, 2015

South Korean TV Star Sam Hammington Joins #BeCrueltyFree Campaign to End Cosmetics Animal Testing

Calls for a national ban in South Korea

Humane Society International, Be Cruelty-Free

  • Sam Hammington and Claire Mansfield for Be Cruelty-Free South Korea. Borami Seo/HSI

Comedian, actor and South Korean reality TV sensation Sam Hammington is speaking up on behalf of rabbits and mice suffering in cosmetics testing. Sam launched his support by joining Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree team and LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics in Seoul for a fun event where members of the public could learn more about animal testing in the cosmetics industry and sign a petition calling for a national ban on cosmetics cruelty.

Sam said: “I’m a real animal lover, and for a while now I’ve been wanting to do something to speak up for animals. They can’t speak up for themselves, but if they could I reckon they’d ask us to be kinder, more compassionate, and not subject them to completely unnecessary cruelty, like testing cosmetics on them. I was really shocked to learn from my friends at the #BeCrueltyFree campaign that this testing still goes on here in South Korea and many other countries. It’s so unnecessary, and through working with #BeCrueltyFree I’ve realised there are plenty of cruelty-free brands available which we should all make an effort to look out for. I’d love South Korea to be the next country to end cosmetics cruelty.”

Support a South Korean ban on cosmetics cruelty, sign the online Be Cruelty-Free pledge.

Testing cosmetics on live animals is still legal in South Korea, including painful eye and skin irritation tests and lethal oral force feeding tests. Such testing has been banned across the European Union, Israel and India, and now HSI is leading efforts to see it end in South Korea too. Recently the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs proposed a phase out of animal testing for finished cosmetic products and ingredients as part of its draft Five Year Plan for Animal Welfare. But the plan has yet to receive backing from other ministries, and HSI is working hard to turn the proposal into firm political commitments.

HSI’s Global #BeCrueltyFree campaigns director, Claire Mansfield, was in Seoul for a week-long series of high-level meetings with South Korea’s policy makers, regulators and cosmetics companies. Mansfield said: “We’re thrilled to have Sam and LUSH’s support for our #BeCrueltyFree campaign, to help us raise awareness about the unnecessary cruelty of cosmetics animal testing and why we need a ban in South Korea as soon as possible. Humane Society International has been calling for legislation for several years, so we’re pleased that a test ban is being considered, but we need to turn that into real action for animals. I’m looking forward to meeting with MFDA and other policy makers here in Seoul to ensure that the proposed ban is formally agreed, will ban all animal testing for cosmetics, and be introduced as quickly as possible.”

Hundreds of cosmetics companies produce safe, innovative products without any animal testing at all. They do so by using combinations of existing cosmetic ingredients that don’t require new testing, as well as available non-animal test methods that have been scientifically validated to the highest standards. LUSH is one such cruelty-free brand; since its founding in 1995, LUSH has never implemented tests on animals for any reason. By refusing to have any involvement in animal testing, for both finished products and ingredients, LUSH has taken the initiative in leading campaigns against animal testing in the cosmetics industry.
On 11 March, the second anniversary of the European Union’s historic ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, LUSH Korea will install special ‘Fighting Animal Testing’ Petition Zones in all stores so that customers can sign the #BeCrueltyFree campaign petition.

LUSH Korea’s CEO Christina Woo said: “Ending animal testing is very important to LUSH. That’s why in 2012 we launched the Lush Prize to help fund the development of alternatives including tests that can replace animals in cosmetics testing. By refraining from using cosmetics that have been tested on animals and by promoting ethical consumerism through the purchase of cruelty-free products, LUSH seeks to bring an end to animal testing. We strongly believe that small actions can bring change to the world, so please join in our action.”

A full list of cruelty-free brands available in South Korea can be found here.

Media contact:

Wendy Higgins, Communications Director: +44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org 

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