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Campaigners claim a global animal testing ban for cosmetics is one step closer, following a Westminster debate on the topic.
The debate, which was led by the SNP’s Dr. Lisa Cameron, saw cross-party politicians voice their support as they discussed the UK’s role in globally banning the tests.
According to organization Cruelty Free International, progress is much needed: A spokesperson said: “Cosmetics animal testing has been banned in Britain since 1997 and across the European Union since 2013, saving hundreds of thousands of animals from death and unnecessary suffering. Yet despite these progressive steps over 80 percent of countries still allow animal testing for cosmetics.”
Dr. Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, started proceedings saying: “I called for this debate to raise awareness amongst parliamentarians that whilst the UK is world-leading in animal welfare, this is often ineffective because most of the rest of the world still has inadequate laws allowing animal tests for cosmetic products and ingredients.
“I am championing Cruelty Free International and the Body Shop UK’s campaign to ban cosmetic testing on animals worldwide which has overwhelming public support and should be adopted in a resolution by the United Nations.”
Talking about alternatives to animal testing, she added: “The information that historically was gained from animal tests is increasingly being provided through quicker and more reliable non-animal methods. Modern methods are more relevant to humans and have been found to predict human reactions better than traditional animal-model methods. “
Patricia Gibson SNP MP for North Ayrshire and Arran supported Dr. Cameron’s statements, and added that while a United Nations’ treaty would not guarantee a global ban on the testing of cosmetics on animals, it would be a ‘bold and progressive step in the right direction’.
She added: “I think the UN and everyone in the Chamber would agree that it really must take that step. That would certainly help considerably in encouraging China and other countries that mandate testing to modernise and to stop blinding, poisoning and killing animals so that we can have lipstick, mascara and blusher.
“As we have heard, what is most distressing about this issue is that cosmetic testing on animals is wholly unnecessary yet it causes our fellow creatures huge suffering.”
She added that as consumers are becoming ‘increasingly ethical’, a ban on testing on animals would also ‘make sense as a response to consumer demand’.
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, said: “We are delighted that UK MPs have brought this issue to the attention of the government at Westminster.
“The goal is now for a resolution to be passed at the UN to enforce harmonised rules that will be good for industry, animals and consumers who want to see an end to the cruel, unnecessary and outdated practice of animal cosmetics testing.”