RSPCA reacts to Government policy U-turn on cosmetics testing on animals

RSPCA reacts to Government policy U-turn on cosmetics testing on animals

Dr Penny Hawkins, head of the RSPCA's animals in science department, said: “We are really pleased that the UK Government has reconsidered its policy and announced an immediate licensing ban on the use of animals for testing chemicals used exclusively as cosmetic ingredients. 

“The public are strongly against the use of animals to test cosmetics, and RSPCA research shows that 76 per cent of UK adults are very concerned about the use of animals in scientific research and testing*.

“The outrage following the UK Government’s decision to quietly follow European Union chemical testing rules really reinforces just how important this issue is to the public and we are pleased that outcry has been listened to. Many people will likely have felt the UK Government’s choice to allow this testing undermined the ‘ban’ and will have been horrified to find they were kept in the dark about this animal testing taking place.

“We’ve long been concerned about the UK Government’s decision to allow animal testing to satisfy chemical safety legislation even when a substance may go on to be used exclusively in a cosmetics product. We believe that if these chemicals were not going to be used in a cosmetic product then they would not be used at all, so there would be no case for testing them for any purpose.  

“We also believe that protecting workers using these chemicals can be done in other ways, such as by ensuring that manufacturing processes do not expose them directly to the chemicals.  

“Whilst this latest development is a positive step in the right direction, we continue to call on the UK Government to commit to a coordinated cross-government action plan to accelerate the transition to animal free research and testing. It is time for a clear statement that phasing out animal experiments is a legitimate and desirable goal, and for far greater investment in Non-Animal Technologies. 

“We hope that this is the first step of a serious commitment by the UK Government to do more towards phasing out the use of animals in science.” 

Visit the RSPCA website to find out more about the Society’s campaign to achieve a phase out of animal experiments.