Over the years I have always tried to avoid animal testing, not just because I keep a pet bunny rabbit, but because I believe hurting animals like this is wrong. Something readers to this blog won’t know is as a teenager I used to go door-to-door in my village in Cornwall with petitions. I don’t think I was popular for doing this, Door knocking with a “ban fox hunting” petition in a very rural place that had its own hunt meet.
|Picture credit, LUSH|
It wasn’t just foxes I tried to help, was pretty much any animal campaign by Greenpeace, WWF, The RSPCA or PETA. Save the whales, no to bunny testing, free range not battery hens… that sort of thing. I still very much agree with the anti cruelty message, but I am no longer a vegetarian. I do however prefer traceable meats from proper butchers and farmers, not the big supermarkets.
Recently on 11th March new rules came into effect, cosmetics can no longer be tested on animals, sadly this doesn’t extend to the ingredients used to make cosmetics.
It seems not everyone realises if a bottle in your bathroom says something like “Product not tested on animals. Ingredients not tested on animals for or by COMPANY XYZ” that could well mean someone else using that ingredient HAS tested it on animals. It is hard to avoid cruelty products, but educating yourself on REACH rules is a great start.
The biggest problem ethical anti animal testing cosmetic companies face is something called REACH. No, no, not that REACH but this is also a shocker.
|Picture credit, LUSH|
This video from Lush explains it better than I could, It does take a few mins, but its worth it, and I watched it myself, no gorry images I promise.
If you want to help there is a petition you can sign online at the Humane Society website, or you can sign a petition in a Lush shop. Both of these petitions are calling for reach to be updated as soon as possible. Reach hasn’t been updated since it was written and since then there have been advances in testing products that reduce the need for animal testing, but Reach does not recognise these tests due to the fact they just didn’t exist in 2007.
Quoted text from the LUSH website
Here at Lush we are overjoyed to be able to celebrate the final stage of the Cosmetics Directive finally coming into force on 11th March 2013. The Cosmetics Directive makes Europe the first zone in the world where animal testing of cosmetics is banned. Let’s hope the rest of the world is looking on and thinking of doing the same thing! The British public played a HUGE part in getting this legislation passed and enforced. Continuous public pressure across Europe since the 1980s forced legislators to write these laws – and only public pressure has kept the legislation on track, as it suffered delay after delay.
Our customers signed a petition to the European Commission only last summer, insisting that the legislation stayed on track, after there were threats to delay implementation another 10 years. So it really is cause for celebration that the Commission listened and are finally enacting the full legislation from 11th March. Each and every person who has ever gone on a march, signed a petition or written to their MPs can feel proud that they have been part of bringing about this groundbreaking animal protection into place. So now that we know that public pressure can work – let’s see if we can use that power again to help more animals.
The Cosmetics Directive only covers tests that are conducted specifically for cosmetics purposes. But cosmetics ingredients are also subject to testing under the new REACH chemical legislation – and animals are going to be used in huge numbers to conduct this safety testing. So animals are still at risk and still need our help. The REACH legislation was written in 2007 – and because the EU knew that the public felt strongly about animal testing, they wrote the laws to say that animals could only be used where no non-animal alternative was available. The REACH rules tell a company exactly which tests they need to do for each ingredient – it lists the non-animal alternatives that must be used and then the animal tests that must be used if there is no alternative. Companies must follow these guidelines. REACH legislation said that the rules would be updated regularly to add any new non-animal alternatives as they are developed. It was hoped that eventually this would mean that no animal tests were ever needed, as new animal tests are developed over time.
But here’s the problem! REACH has not been updated since it was written in 2007. Since then many non-animal alternatives have been developed and also some animal test refinements (these are improved protocols which mean that for each test less animals need to be used and killed). By not adding these to the REACH testing guidelines, REACH are breaking their own stated rules – and many animals (perhaps even millions) are dying in tests because companies cannot use the non-animal alternatives until the legislation lists them as suitable for use.
So this week we are joining with Humane Society International to launch a petition, so that the public have a chance to tell the REACH administration that this is not good enough and we are all watching and waiting for them to update the animal testing protocols to include the last few years of advances. They need to know that the public still feel strongly about animals dying in tests that they do not need to be used for! Please sign the petition at your local Lush shop and add your voice to the calls for a better deal for animals. So let’s all take the time to party and celebrate the power of the people in bringing change for those who cannot speak up for themselves. But then let’s all get angry again that everything is not being done to protect animals from unnecessary tests – and let’s do something about it!
I was asked to post this video, but not told what to say, nor have I been paid. Just want to do some good! Go on, share this message and petition?