SNP MEP calls for Europe to become world's first 'cruelty-free zone'

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today (Monday) claimed victory in a fight for animal rights as the EU ban on animal-tested cosmetic products and ingredients starts.  Smith, Honorary Vice President of the Scottish SPCA and Honorary Associate Member of the BVA, has campaigned for this ban for many years and called for Europe to become the world's first 'cruelty-free zone'.

From today the ban will be fully implemented and the three tests which were still allowed will be outlawed so companies won't be able to sell cosmetics in the EU that have been tested on animals, no matter where in the world the testing took place.

Speaking from the Lush store on Buchanan Street, Glasgow on Saturday, Alyn said:

"Lush has been running a very effective campaign to get rid of animal-tested cosmetics for many years now; I've been delighted to help in that campaign and I'm happy to be in Lush today to highlight the new ban.  This is a company that has proven that you can have beauty without cruelty and I can't think of a better place to celebrate this advance.

"It has taken a long time to get to this stage after too many delays in implementing the complete ban and today marks a great victory for animals and for people who don't want to wear the scars of animal testing.

"There really is no need to put vanity before animal welfare.  It's not just lipstick and mascara the ban deals with; it covers anything designed to "clean, perfume and protect the body”, from aftershave to soap, from toothpaste to sun cream.

"Europe is the world's biggest market for beauty products and companies can't keep selling their products here if they're tested on animals or if any of their ingredients are tested on animals, even if the products or ingredients are tested on animals outside the EU.

"If the world's biggest market can introduce a full ban on animal-tested cosmetics, the rest of the world can follow.  It's taken years for us to get to this stage, but this sends a strong message to the rest of the world that we no longer need to test cosmetics on animals so neither do they and people really don't want it.

"I saw the research into alternatives to animal testing first-hand at a biotech lab in Dundee some years ago; it was impressive then and the technology will have moved on even further since then.  The Commissioner has confirmed the commitment to non-animal methods of testing for all sectors.  I share that vision and look forward to working to help make the EU become the world's first cruelty-free zone."

Emily McIvor, Senior EU Policy Advisor at Humane Society International, said:

"Humane Society International and MEPs like Alyn, have campaigned long and hard to see the EU live up to its citizens' cruelty-free expectations, so we are delighted that despite a long delay, the EU is finally banning the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics.  With animals around the world still forced to suffer for the beauty industry, banning the sale of cruel cosmetics is the only right thing to do."

Hilary Jones, Ethics Director at Lush Cosmetics, commented:

“This ban was totally brought about by public pressure and campaigning. So now we know we can get results, let’s move on to the other ingredients testing that animals suffer.”