11 March 2013: The Day of Smiling Rabbits

 Sylwia Bulak

Why? Simply  on this day a ban on animal testing in the European Union will be finally complete.

In a legal manner animal testing  was put to an end some years ago under the amended Cosmetics Directive* by imposing bans on:

  • testing cosmetic products or their ingredients on animals (TESTING BAN);
  • selling cosmetic products which have been tested on animals or which contain ingredients that have been tested on animals (MARKETING BAN).

The provisions  have not immediately entered into force – the Commission decided to give the countries a 6-year -long period of implementation.  In March 2009, all animal testing for cosmetics was banned in the EU and an EU–wide ban on the sale of cosmetics products containing ingredients tested on animals went into effect. The ban however allows some kinds of tests to continue until 2013 (precisely speaking:  the tests concerning repeated-dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity andtoxicokinetics, for which there were no alternatives under consideration).

króliki gotowe

Currently the total prohibition will be applicable regardless of the availability of alternative test methods.

Why does the Directive differentiate between testing and marketing ban? The sales ban is crucial because it means that even products which were tested on animals ELSEWHERE cannot be sold in the EU! The importance of the provisions is underlined by PETA** which describes them as:

 the most enlightened and ambitious pieces of legislation on animal testing anywhere in the world [which] has helped drive innovation and the development of new, highly effective non-animal testing methods that are now being used to replace animals in experiments all around the world.

Undeniably in this respect it is proud to be a European…

If you would like to get more involved in the issue, you can check which companies test their products on animals and which are cruelty-free:

http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.aspx

Or read about alternative methods of testing cosmetics:

Report on the Development, Validation and Legal Acceptance of Alternative Methods to Animal Tests in the Field of Cosmetics (2009)

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/sectors/cosmetics/files/pdf/animal_testing/annual_report2009.pdf

* In the framework of the 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive (Council Directive 76/768/EEC) held in 2003 (The European Parliament and Council Directive 2003/15/EC)

** People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Sources:

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/international-animal-testing-programs.aspx

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/sectors/cosmetics/files/doc/antest/sec_2004_1210_en.pdf

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/l21191_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/home_en.htm

Picture made by the author

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