Parliament votes to end cosmetics testing on animals worldwide

On 03/05/2018, in All posts, by Animal Welfare Intergroup

(Brussels – 2 May 2018) The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals is celebrating the adoption of a resolution supporting a global ban on cosmetics testing on animals today. The European Parliament voted in favour of the resolution to end animal testing in cosmetics everywhere and forever.

Presidents of the European Parliament, Commission and Council, and the 28 Member States are now tasked with advocating for a worldwide ban on the animal testing of cosmetics before 2023. They will be asked to raise the issue in meetings with other institutions or countries and use their diplomatic networks for building an international coalition and drafting a convention against the testing of animals for cosmetics.

MEPs agreed that achieving an enforceable international convention through the UN to establish a harmonised global ban would level the playing field for industry and meet the expectations of consumers around the world.

The vote follows the fifth anniversary of the EU’s ground-breaking ban on the sale in Europe of new cosmetics products and ingredients tested on animals outside the EU in 2013. The bold and progressive move followed earlier bans on the testing of cosmetics products on animals in 2003 and of ingredients in 2009. However, 80% of countries around the world continue to allow animal tests of cosmetic products and substances, as well as the marketing of these products.

The issue of animal welfare consistently proves to be a high priority for the European public’s concerns. According to a 2016 Eurobarometer survey, 90% of participants agreed that it is important to establish high animal welfare standards that are recognised worldwide, while 89% felt that the EU should do more to promote greater awareness of the importance of animal welfare at international level.

The EU ban was an essential driver for the development of non-animal testing methods, and it has proved that similar legislation could be implemented globally. In fact, alternative methods have been shown to provide more reliable information about the effects of products on humans and are cheaper than methods that involve testing on animals. Furthermore, this ban has not impeded the development of a thriving and innovative cosmetics sector and Europe remains the largest market for cosmetic products in the world.

MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP – Finland), President of The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, said: “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. With the many humane and human-relevant alternatives available there is absolutely no need for animals to suffer and die for the sake of beauty anywhere in the world.

MEP Eleonora Evi (EFDD – Italy), Member of The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, declared: “I think that today we have witnessed the Parliament taking a very firm political stance on practices that are no longer welcome in the EU and that should be entirely abandoned also across the globe. I am particularly happy that we have decided to listen to millions of Europeans engaged against animal testing. That is the Union that we work for, where animal welfare is an essential value that is upheld and defended in the context of our international relations.

MEP Miriam Dalli (S&D – Malta), Coordinator of the Socialists and Democrats for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, said: “We urge the global industry to follow in the footsteps of the European industry and end the use of animal testing for cosmetics. With the existing alternatives and the scientific and technological advancements, it simply makes no sense to continue causing unjustified and unnecessary pain to animals. This is also recognised by consumers who are shunning cosmetics tested on animals.

MEP Frédérique Ries (ALDE – Belgium), said “Non-animal testing methods exist, that are quicker, cheaper, and actually more reliable, so nothing justifies the torturing of more than half a million guinea pigs, mice, hamsters and rabbits for cosmetics every year in the world. Five years after the ban on animal testing for cosmetics in Europe, our industry is still world leader. If it is right for animals, consumers, and business in Europe, then it is right for the rest of the world. Time to go global!

The text of the resolution can be found at:

For further information, please contact: Sirpa Pietikäinen +32 (0)2 28 45264


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