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What Does the EU Ban on Animal Testing Mean for Brands Selling Where Testing is Required by Law?

What Does the EU Ban on Animal Testing Mean for Brands Selling Where Testing is Required by Law?

The EU Ban on Animal Testing went into effect on March 11, 2013. The ban promised to end animal testing on products sold in the EU – a huge step for animal lovers, animal activists and cruelty free consumers alike. While this ban is a great and huge step in the right direction there is still a lot of confusion about what the ban actually does to stop cosmetic companies from testing on animals. Especially when it comes to brands that state they only test on animals, “when required by law”.

It’s important to remember that the EU ban on animal testing extends only to the European Union. It is not a worldwide ban and it does not dictate the practices that brands have for selling outside of the EU. Before the ban went into effect, many saw it as a great sign that brands testing, “when required by law”, would have to change their ways in order to sell in the EU. However, this is not the case.

As stated by Leaping Bunny – “It is unlikely that the EU will force international brands to pull out of markets with animal testing requirements. Therefore, although it may appear to be inconsistent with the ban, companies may still be testing on animals to fulfill regulatory requirements in other countries.

As stated on Go Cruelty Free, “When the ban takes effect, companies will not be able to animal test new cosmetic products and ingredients on sale in the EU. However, companies can still carry on animal testing cosmetics outside the EU where these cosmetics are also sold outside the EU. There are a number of issues for companies selling their products on the global market. For example, at present, before new products can go on sale in China, they must be submitted for testing to the Chinese authorities, which normally involves a range of animal tests.

In the guest post, Are Cosmetics in the EU Truly Cruelty Free?, it was stated that new collections made for markets where testing is required would not be allowed to be sold in the EU. This matches with the above statement by Go Cruelty Free. Yet, it seems that this line is becoming more blurry since the ban went into effect. As shown in the case of the brand Shiseido, brands that currently test on animals when “required by law” will still be allowed to do so and sell in the EU market.

Brands that test on animals outside the EU will still be able to ship products into the EU for sale. The items available for purchase in the EU may be cruelty free, but the brand itself may not be.

These brands won’t be approved by Leaping Bunny or other groups that certify a true cruelty free status. These organizations will not endorse brands who take part in any animal testing, required by law or otherwise. So you will not see a logo for these organizations on brands who sell there animal testing is required by law. Looking for the Leaping Bunny certification on products is now even more important for this reason.

The list of cruelty free and vegan brands on Logical Harmony will remain a resource for individuals as well. Any brands that conduct any sort of animal testing are not included. This includes testing by a parent company, third party, distributor or where “required by law”. In an effort to be as accurate as possible, brands that are unclear or unresponsive about their stance on animal testing are also no included.

The European Union ban on animal testing is a huge step in the right direction and something to celebrate. Yet, it also shows that this is a worldwide issue that more countries need to be involved in. If we want change to happen, we have to start at home. Support cruelty free and vegan brands, show your support of the EU ban, support organizations that are working to change the laws where you live.

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7 Comments

  • Reply Cristy Friday - September 18, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I will also stick to the brands that we all know they do not test, if I want to try something diffrent I will support indie brands from etsy.. Thank you for the post! As always very helpful!!

  • Reply Kim Saturday - August 17, 2013 at 1:05 am

    FYI: Leaping Bunny will still certify brands that do not test on animals but are OWNED by brands that do test on animals. For example, L’Oreal, which tests on animals, now owns Urban Decay, which is still leaping bunny certified

  • Reply Mary Wednesday - April 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    It sounds like there are some loopholes in the EU ban. If they are truly serious they would not allow ANY “animal tested” products to be sold no matter where they come from, including products with the “tested by law” clause.

    I agree with beautythatwantstesting when she says ” I am not a test subject”… Humans aren’t and neither should animals be. They have just as much right to this planet as we do!

    I hope more people become aware of this and a world wide ban on animal testing is not only put in place but enforced.

  • Reply beautythatwantstesting Wednesday - March 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I think that this is the biggest mistake the EU is making. I as a human am not a test subject

    • Reply Jen Friday - July 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      It’s a shame you feel that non-human animals should be tested on. Maybe you shouldn’t consume these products. I think this is a huge improvement and I really hope the U.S. is the next to implement this.

  • Reply Sarah S. Tuesday - March 26, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Thank you for shedding some light on this confusing issue!

  • Reply Sascha Monday - March 25, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Your posts (this and the Shiseido post) definitely do shed light on a somewhat confusing matter. After finding out more about what this ban really means, I have come to the conclusion that I will not change my consumer habits but will continue to buy from the brands that are cruelty-free (and in some cases vegan), do not sell in China and are either Vegan Society or Leaping Bunny approved. Just to be sure. But still, the ban is great news!

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