Court ruling quashes industry move to undermine EU ban on new animal test data for cosmetics

Legal challenge backfires, precedent-setting EU ban preserved

Humane Society International

  • Good news for rabbits and other animals used in testing. Viorel Simaj/istock

LONDON—The Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed the EU’s 2013 ban on cosmetic animal testing and trade with a verdict today that expressly forbids companies from relying on results from animal tests conducted outside of the EU after March 2013 to substantiate the safety of cosmetic products in the EU. Humane Society International welcomes the ruling as a win for animal welfare advocates. The European Federation for Cosmetics Ingredients brought the case seeking a narrower interpretation of the ban by the court, under which new animal tests conducted under legislation in non-EU countries could be used to substantiate the safety of cosmetics under EU law. Such a narrow interpretation would have rendered the EU ban toothless.  

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“We are pleased that this cynical attempt by the industry to circumvent the EU’s restrictions on cosmetics animal testing and sales has failed,” said HSI #BeCrueltyFree campaign director Claire Mansfield. “The court’s ruling does justice to clear consumer demand for an end to cruel cosmetics, and reinforces the ongoing work of Humane Society International’s global #BeCrueltyFree campaign to extend the EU’s precedent-setting bans on cosmetics animal testing and trade to all major beauty markets. With this positive momentum we may be only a few years away from a world where cosmetics companies will have to go cruelty-free to remain profitable.”

Humane Society International was a major player in convincing the EU to implement its 2013 sales ban on newly animal-tested cosmetic products and ingredients, and together with regional #BeCrueltyFree campaign partners was the leading force behind the adoption of similar bans in India, New Zealand and South Korea. #BeCrueltyFree campaign teams are currently working with the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan and other nations to enact additional air-tight bans. Become a Lab Animal Defender.

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