The results of a recent EU Conciliation Committee vote between the European
Parliament and the Council of Ministers, reveal that Europe will at last ban cosmetics animal testing. But leading animal rights campaigners the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) say the vote doesn't go far enough to protect lab animals.
The vote marks the end of a thirteen-year struggle by MEPs to end cosmetics
animal testing, but their efforts have been hampered throughout by aggressive industry lobbying and fierce opposition by the Council of Ministers, including the UK government which has not supported an outright testing ban.
The Conciliation Committee has voted for:1. A complete animal testing ban six years from entry into force (around 2009)
2. A sale ban ten years from entry into force (around 2013) but with the possibility of the sale ban being delayed if insufficient non-animal tests have been developed.
3. For the sale bans to come into force, non-animal tests must be validated at Community rather than OECD level (but with due regard to the OECD) which will be a quicker route to alternatives being accepted.
4. The outstanding issue of labeling will be discussed further through written triologue (Rapporteur, Minister, Commission).
Whilst animal campaigners the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection
(BUAV) has today welcomed the long-awaited EU test ban, it warned that without a total and immediate ban on the sale of animal tested cosmetics, animal testing will simply shift to non-EU countries. It accused the cosmetics industry of sabotaging the best hope of protection lab animals had against cruel tests for products like shampoo and lipstick.
Wendy Higgins, BUAV Campaigns Director said:
"This has been an extremely long and hard battle to convince Europe to finally stop killing animals in cosmetics tests. But without a total & immediate sale ban, animals will continue to die outside Europe so that the products can be sold inside Europe. All that will achieve is to leave the blood on someone else's hands but the suffering will go on. It is utterly shameful that the cosmetics industry and many EU governments including the UK have fought so hard against an outright and immediate ban, and it is now for all MEPs to decide whether they will accept or reject this result."