The Humane Society International are behind Be Cruelty Free Week (9-15 March) and #BlogForBunnies to get us all talking about what being cruelty free means to us, to share ideas and information or even our fave products!
Thanks to the amount of cruelty free beauty blogs out there, it’s a lot easier than it used to be to track down cruelty free products. It’s also easy to be really confused about the jargon in the small print on companies websites and what ‘cruelty free’ means to various countries. Here’s a really comprehensive but easy to read list of ‘cruelty free beauty’ facts courtesy of CF blog Mo’ adore and some of my own knowledge.
The UK outlawed the testing of cosmetics on animals in 1997.
Since March 2013, it has also been illegal to sell cosmetics products within the EU which have been, or which contain ingredients, newly tested on animals.
It’s the ingredients that get tested, not the finished product.
However a global brand can still test in other parts of the world, the tested products just can’t enter the EU (but the batch entering the USA for example can be).
If any brand wishes to enter China they are required to test on animals.
The recent ban on animal testing in China only refers to ‘ordinary cosmetics’ manufactured in China. All international brands have to give up samples.
A company can sell in the EU and China at the same time, but the batch coming into the EU can’t be tested but the batch going into China must be tested.
There’s a also a ban in Norway, Israel, India and most recently the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.
There is currently draft legislation to ban cosmetic testing in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and the USA.
The species used in cosmetics testing are rabbits, rat, guinea pigs, mice and hamsters.
It takes longer to develop non-animal testing methods than it does to develop animal-testing methods, which is why so many companies support animal testing.
Marketers can get very sneaky with their wording. ‘We don’t believe in animal testing’ doesn’t mean they’ve checked their suppliers don’t. ‘Our finished products are not animal tested’ but what about the individual ingredients? ‘We never test any ingredients on animals and are committed to being cruelty free’ but is the parent company who owns that brand cruelty free? i.e. The Body Shop and Urban Decay are now owned by L’Oreal who aren’t cruelty free themselves.
When I send a company an e-mail I have them clarify if they test finished products or ingredients, if they sell in China (send straight to an individual or to a warehouse?), if they are a British company, if they sell outside EU borders and if they have a parent company.
BUAV’s The Leaping Bunny logo is the most trusted certification for cruelty-free products.
In the UK all medication has to be tested on animals but if you want to help support the development of non-animal methods you can check out the Dr Hadwens Trust.