BRUSSELS—Signed, sealed, and delivered! The “Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing” European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has smashed the requirement of gathering 1 million validated signatures, reaching over 1.2 million statements of support from European citizens.
The European Commission must now meet with campaigners and address citizens’ concerns. As over 10 million animals suffer in experiments in the EU every year and new non-animal technologies are being developed faster than ever before, the time for change is now.
“The days of forcing cosmetics ingredients down the throats of defenceless animals, intentionally infecting them with debilitating diseases, or drilling holes into their skulls must end—a radical rethink at the EU level is needed to support the transition,” says Sabrina Engel, chair of the ECI’s organising committee, PETA Germany.
“This European Citizens’ Initiative powerfully backs up the demand of the European Parliament to phase out animal testing for good. With the voice of the citizens added to the chorus, the Commission cannot ignore the loud calls to accelerate the transition to non-animal science,” says Tilly Metz, MEP, Greens–European Free Alliance.
“With the threat that the chemicals strategy poses to animals in laboratories, this ECI could not be timelier. From today, no additional animal tests should be requested to fill information gaps about chemicals. We need to move to safer and more humane safety assessments of chemicals,” says Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP, European People’s Party.
“The message from citizens has never been clearer or more aligned with the voices of scientists, industry, NGOs and politicians. Everyone understands that a plan to phase out animal experiments is a win-win situation for humans, other animals, and the environment. Now, the Commission should listen to citizens and finally make it happen,” says Anja Hazekamp, MEP, the Left.
“European citizens have been asking for cruelty-free cosmetics for a long time. This European citizens’ initiative is another reminder to the Commission that EU citizens will not stand by while loopholes in legislation are not closed to end all animal tests on cosmetics,” says Niels Fuglsang, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
The ECI’s three critical asks call for robust implementation of the EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics ingredients, a full transition to non-animal methods for chemical safety tests and committing to a plan to phase out all experiments on animals.
The ECI was launched in August 2021 by Cruelty Free Europe, Eurogroup for Animals, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, Humane Society International/Europe, and PETA, with the support of global beauty and personal-care companies The Body Shop and Dove. It has since been actively promoted by companies such as Lush and a coalition of groups and campaigners from every corner of Europe. Hundreds of celebrities also supported the campaign, including Sir Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais, Finnish heavy metal band Lordi, Italian singer Red Canzian, French journalist Hugo Clément and actor Evanna Lynch.
No other ECI has ever received this level of support across so many different countries. To be successful, an ECI has to collect at least 1 million validated signatures and has to meet a minimum target across at least seven different EU countries. This ECI passed the minimum target in 22 different countries, demonstrating pan-European support for ending animal testing.
Note to Editors:
- The Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has brought together a network of NGOs and multinational companies across Europe. This is the first time in history that this number of European organisations has come together to help animals in laboratories.
- Following submission and internal checks by the Commission, the number of validated signatures per country will be updated and shown here.
- After receiving the validated signatures, Commission representatives will meet with ECI organisers so they can explain in detail the issues raised in their initiative. The initiative will also receive a public hearing in the European Parliament before the Commission formally responds.
- For more information on European Citizens’ Initiatives, see the ECI Factsheet on the European Parliament website.
- PETA: Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; SaschaC@peta.org.uk
- Eurogroup for animals: Agnese Marcon +32 (0)456 078 038; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cruelty free international: Steve Gibbs +44 (0) 7850 510955; Steve.Gibbs@crueltyfreeinternational.org
- HSI/Europe: Yavor Gechev +359889468098; email@example.com