MEPs vote for global ban on cosmetic animal testing

Written by Martin Banks on 4 May 2018 in News
News

A vote by MEPs in the European Parliament to overwhelmingly adopt a resolution supporting a global ban on cosmetic testing on animals has been broadly welcomed.

Photo credit: Press Association


The vote, on Thursday, was on a resolution marking the fifth anniversary of the EU’s ground-breaking ban on the sale in Europe of new cosmetics products and ingredients that have been tested on animals outside the EU.

There are, though, still no laws banning animal tests for cosmetics products and ingredients across 80 per cent of the world.

The resolution aims to task EU member state governments, the European Commission and European Council to advocate a global end to animal testing in cosmetics.


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The resolution calls for the Commission to take “decisive action to create an international agreement (within the UN framework similar to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)) to bring a definitive end to cosmetics animal testing globally.”

Speaking at a press conference after the vote, German GUE/NGL group MEP Stefan Eck told this website that the UN general assembly later this year in New York would be a “good opportunity” to introduce such a resolution.

Eck said he hopes that the vote will pave the way for an “end to this barbaric and shameful” practice and “close the loopholes” that allow such testing to continue in so many countries.

Speaking at the same press conference, Finnish EPP group MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, also welcomed the vote.

“Today the Parliament has taken a significant step in consigning the cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals in cosmetics testing to the history books. We now call on our colleagues in the Commission and the Council to drive this forward and ensure we manage to achieve a global ban” Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP

She told reporters, “Today the Parliament has taken a significant step in consigning the cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals in cosmetics testing to the history books. We now call on our colleagues in the Commission and the Council to drive this forward and ensure we manage to achieve a global ban.”

Forecasting a “big battle ahead” on efforts to enact a global ban, she also said there was no evidence that such testing was effective, adding that it was “outdated and old fashioned.”

“It seems to say something very ugly about us as humans.” She added, “I would also like to see more funding and resources so that we can have more non-animal based testing for such purposes.”

Her comments were echoed at the news conference by Maltese member Miriam Dalli who agreed that the UN assembly in September was a good time to introduce a resolution for a worldwide ban.

She said, “I welcome the vote today and it is now up to the commission and council to do their bit on this.”

"The United Nations has similar conventions already, such as CITES, that co-ordinate international efforts to protect endangered species for example. Now is the time to push for a global ban at the UN and finally bring the cosmetic industry's testing processes into the 21st century" Jacqueline Foster MEP

Polish MEP Boleslaw Piecha from the Parliament’s ECR group said, “The barbaric practice of testing cosmetics on animals has to stop.”

Speaking separately, the Vice-President of the European Parliament's Animal Welfare Intergroup, Jacqueline Foster, said, "It is unacceptable that 80 per cent of the world still allows cosmetic products to be tested on animals. This out-of-date testing is unjustifiable and barbaric.“

The UK deputy added, "I am very proud that the UK is playing a leading role globally to end cosmetic testing on animals; We must continue to share our experience and lead by example, but we must also use our diplomatic muscle in the UN to secure a world-wide ban.

"The United Nations has similar conventions already, such as CITES, that coordinate international efforts to protect endangered species for example. Now is the time to push for a global ban at the UN and finally bring the cosmetic industry's testing processes into the 21st century."

Further comment came from Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, who said, “Tragically, despite the availability of approved non-animal tests and existing ingredients safe for human use, there are still no laws banning animal tests for cosmetics products and ingredients in 80 per cent of the world. We estimate that over half a million animals – from rabbits to mice, rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters - are still used annually in cruel and unnecessary cosmetics testing worldwide.”

“Five years after the full EU bans, the time is right to go one step further. The leadership that MEPs have shown by adopting this resolution deserves much credit. Now it’s time to work together to deliver a global end to cosmetics animal testing and eliminate animal suffering around the world.”

Jessie Macneil-Brown of global cosmetics company, The Body Shop, said, “The Body Shop is pushing hard for a global ban to end cosmetic animal testing everywhere and forever. Our customers  worldwide are hugely supportive of cruelty-free cosmetics and we have gathered more than 5.7 million signatures in just ten months for our Forever Against Animal Testing campaign.”

“The EU ban has demonstrated that it is possible to have a healthy, thriving cosmetics market without the need for animal testing and today’s positive vote will take us a big step closer to an international agreement.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine

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