Saturday, 7 May 2016

Animal Testing – What’s the Score?

A less beautiful aspect of our beloved beauty industry comes to the fore when we broach the subject of animal testing. Recently, there has been much better disclosure and discussion regarding animal testing within the industry. Attitudes and policies of different brands towards the use of animals in product tests has become much easier to find on the internet, and to actually discuss with the brand directly, partially thanks to social media.

This is by no means an exhaustive list or exhaustive post regarding animal testing as a whole, but I aim to sum up some information for you, so you can find relevant sources, and make informed choices, if this is an issue which you are worried about. I am, first and foremost, a veterinary surgeon and scientist, and think that this issue is a really important one.

Let me start by saying that since 2013, animal tested cosmetics are banned within the EU – even if this testing was conducted outwith Europe. Fantastic news.

But here's the thing: worldwide, this will not change overnight.

This policy still has some fuzzy loopholes, confusing legislation, and companies may still continue to test some products outside of Europe (although these will not be for sale in the EU. They will be available in different markets; namely, China). This has led to some wobbly answers from companies in the past regarding their commitment to using alternative methods/abolishing animal testing. Hayley from London Beauty Queen recently posted an excellent post on L’Oreal’s stance on animal testing, which you can read by clicking the link. It would seem that even the giants of the cosmetic world are having to take notice of increasing consumer pressure outwith the European Union regarding animal testing policies. These enormous companies also have the monetary clout to investigate and fund alternative, evidence based, cruelty free methods; their investment in this is also vital to eventually ending animal testing for cosmetics altogether.

Two of the best companies for complete transparency on animal testing policies are Illamasqua and Lush. Big, bold, obvious policies, easy to find on their websites, with no jargon. Marvellous. I have recently pinned a post on Pinterest with an expansive list of cruelty-free companies, for your interest (on my “On the Blog” board).

If in doubt, look for the "Leaping Bunny" symbol - this verifies the whole supply chain used by a company is cruelty-free.

Personally, I am really pleased that these huge mega-brands which umbrella-own so many of our favourite cosmetics are actually doing something about their company policies and stance on animal testing. Transparency within the market is increasing, and genuine, feasible, sensible alternatives are being sought. In general, we as consumers are much more engaged with brands, and more able to make our concerns heard. It will undoubtedly take a considerable length of time to impart change, but the tide is definitely turning in favour of completely banning animal testing for cosmetic use.

When it comes to animal testing, this can only be a good thing.


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