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May 3, 2011

Queen of Clean Aggie Mackenzie Says: “Wash Your Hands of Animal Testing for Household Products for HSI's Cruelty-Free Spring Clean Campaign”

Humane Society International/Europe

TV’s cleaning guru, Aggie Mackenzie ("How Clean Is Your House?"), is urging compassionate consumers to wash their hands of animal-tested household cleaning products. Aggie is supporting Humane Society International/UK’s Cruelty-Free Spring Clean campaign [1] aimed at reminding shoppers that they don’t need to be cruel to be clean if they buy products approved by the international Leaping Bunny standard for "no animal testing" [2].

During the last decade in Britain, more than 3,500 animals—including mice, rabbits and guinea pigs—have endured testing for substances used in household products [3] such as carpet shampoo, washing-up liquid and detergents. Tests include having chemicals forced down animals throats, dripped in their eyes, applied to their skin or injected into their blood [4].

HSI UK’s Cruelty-Free Spring Clean campaign asks consumers to clean without cruelty to animals by buying products approved by the Leaping Bunny standard. Leaping Bunny is the only internationally recognised scheme for cosmetic and household products to guarantee no animal testing at any stage in the manufacture. Approved brands include Marks & Spencer and Co-operative own-brands, method, Astonish and Bio-D.

Aggie says:

"This spring, do your cleaning with a clear conscience by choosing products that haven't been tested on animals. Humane Society International/UK's 'Cruelty-Free Spring Clean' campaign is full of handy hints to clean your house without the stubborn stain of animal testing. Many animal-friendly products are also non-toxic, so as well as being better for bunnies, they're better for the planet too!"

The British government has pledged to end animal testing for household products with a ban expected soon [5]. However, more than 4,000 animals annually continue to endure household product testing across the European Union [6], and globally the number is likely to be much larger. The vast majority of household product companies have their testing facilities in countries such as the USA and India where full animal use statistics are not recorded.

Cruelty-Free Spring Clean tips:

  • Download a Leaping Bunny Compassionate Shopping Guide [PDF]
  • Leaping Bunny household products include: own-label ranges at Marks & Spencer and The Co-operative; method—available at Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Boots, Homebase, B&Q and John Lewis; Astonish—available at Wilkinson, Poundland, Trago and £-stretcher; Earth-Friendly Products, Clearspring and Bio-D—online and in health-food shops.
  • Swap harsh chemicals for natural alternatives as many cruelty-free products are also low-toxic, eco-friendly and biodegradable.
  • Use traditional cleaning products from your kitchen cupboard like bicarbonate of soda, lemons and white vinegar. Check out HSI's handy guide to cruelty-free cleaning.

Aggie Mackenzie is the former head of the Good Housekeeping Institute and well-known as the "dirt detective" on Channel 4’s "How Clean is Your House?" [7]


1. Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations—backed by 11 million people. 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 hsieurope.org.

2. The Leaping Bunny Programme is run by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, of which HSI is a member through its US affiliate, and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. Leaping Bunny-approved companies must submit to an independent audit to prove they don’t test on animals nor buy ingredients animal tested after a fixed cut-off date. On the Web at leapingbunny.org.

3. Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain, published from 2001-2010. Available at homeoffice.gov.uk.

4. Tests can include: skin and eye irritation, acute toxicity, mutagenicity (genetic damage), teratogencity (birth defects), carcinogenicity (cancer causing) and toxicokinetics (the absorption, metabolism, distribution and excretion of chemicals from the body).

5. The Coalition: our programme for government, page 18. Published May 2010. Available at bit.ly/cjcW0d.

6. In 2009, 4,282 animals were used in household product testing in the EU, including 2,253 in lethal poisoning tests. Sixth Report on the Statistics on the Number of Animals Used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes in the Member States of the European Union, published August 2010.

7. “Products in Aggie's Probiotic cleaning range are safe for use around animals."