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A petition calling on the United Nations to end animal testing for cosmetics all over the world by 2020 has garnered more than 7 million signatures.
The campaign, by Cruelty Free International and The Body Shop, was started around a year ago and has a target of 8 million signatures.
When the campaign was launched, The Body Shop was owned by L’Oreal – which tests products on animals ‘when required by law’ – prompting Cruelty Free International to say: “We know that having a parent company which is not currently Leaping Bunny certified raises questions for some. Although takeovers like this are inevitable in a global market, The Body Shop remains cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified.”
Since then, the chain has been acquired by Brazilian company Natura, A B-corp which has claimed cruelty-free status, and is currently working with Cruelty Free International to become endorsed as such.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Jessie Macneil-Brown, Senior Manager International Campaigns and Corporate Responsibility, The Body Shop, said: “The Body Shop passionately believes that no animal should be harmed in the name of cosmetics and that animal testing on products and ingredients is outdated, cruel and unnecessary.
“This is why [we] have partnered to deliver the largest and most ambitious campaign ever to seek a global ban on the use of animals to test cosmetic products and ingredients.
“This campaign will finish what we both started back in the 1980s. We are calling on at least eight million people from every corner of the globe who care about animal welfare to join our cause and sign our petition. We will take this petition to the United Nations to call on them to support a global ban on animal testing in cosmetic products and ingredients.”
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, added: “People are confused about animal testing. The world over, people want this cruel practice to end, yet existing laws are a patchwork of different rules with some very big gaps.
“While more and more countries require non-animal safety tests and many have taken steps to prohibit cosmetics testing on animals, there is more work to be done. Where animal testing is allowed – on both products and ingredients – most countries do not require testing data to be made available to the public or even to regulators.
“This makes it extremely difficult to know how widespread animal testing is. Because 80 percent of countries around the world still allow animal testing in cosmetics, a global ban is the only way to truly eliminate animal suffering.”