Even if not tested, products often include substances like animal fat, fish scales, hormones, stomach enzymes, gelatin, liver oil, animal gland steroids, wax and honey or even shark and turtle oil.
The European Union took a step forward in March 2013, when a new law was fully implemented and made it illegal to sell animal-tested cosmetics in Europe, even if the testing was done outside Europe. However, vivisection (experimentation on live animals) continues. 1,170,326 signatures were collected, but the initiative to stop vivisection was denied by the EU Commission.
Despite the remarkable progress that’s been made, ingredients used in cosmetics may still be tested on animals in the EU under REACH, the world’s largest chemical testing programme. Also testing on animals for household products continues. And when you Google cosmetic companies that still test on animals, around 330 names come up!
Scientists should follow the three Rs in order to reduce the impact of research on animals: Reduction, Refinement and Replacement. Reducing the number of animals used in experiments and refining the experiment in a way that the animal suffers as little as possible should be commonplace when they can't abstain from the use of animals. But the third “R” is the best way to go – replacement with alternative methods such as in-vitro testing, research with human volunteers or test tube methods.
Products in Europe that are not tested on animals carry the symbol of the “Leaping Bunny”. Take action, look for information, sign petitions and check what products you are buying. #becrueltyfree