The petition gathered a whopping 1,413,383 signatures.
For a record-breaking second time, more than one million people across the European Union have demanded an end to animal testing.
The Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics/End Animal Testing European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) which called on the European Commission to end the cruel use of animals in cosmetics and chemicals tests recently closed – gathering a whopping 1,413,383 signatures.
The ECI was launched in August 2021 by a coalition of animal protection organizations including Cruelty Free Europe, PETA, Eurogroup for Animals, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments and HSI Europe.
It was also supported by some companies in the cosmetics and personal care industry, such as The Body Shop, Lush, and Dove, as well as by other groups across Europe.
The ECIs are an established and respected participatory democracy mechanism to which the European Commission is required to respond within six months.
So far, only six of the 90 registered ECIs have successfully completed the validation stage. Therefore, collecting over 1 million signatures to ban animal testing for the second time sends a strong message to EU officials. The first was Stop Vivisection in 2015.
Efforts to expose animal suffering in labs
Each year, more than 10 million animals are used in EU labs for research and testing procedures that subject them to agonizing pain and suffering.
Animal welfare organizations and campaigners worked tirelessly to reach the masses and make the initiative a success.
PETA created impactful videos, rallied with celebrities and influencers and held protests and demos throughout Europe, to ensure that everyone across the EU heard about the ECI and was able to take action.
Animal testing is ineffective and impractical
Aside from animal cruelty, mounting evidence indicates that animal testing is ineffective and impractical.
92% of drugs fail in human clinical trials despite testing safe and effective in extensive animal tests.
Moreover, it is estimated that between 50% and 89% of preclinical research is not reproducible.
According to CFI, skin allergy tests conducted on mice and guinea pigs, predict human skin reactions 82% and 72% of the time, respectively. Meanwhile, Draize skin irritation tests in rabbits only predict human reactions 60% of the time.
On the other hand, chemistry and cell-based methods – which don’t involve animals – can accurately predict human reactions more than 90% of the time.
Aviva Vetter, HSI senior manager for cosmetics, said: “This European Citizens’ Initiative is a wake-up call to EU institutions that continued erosion of the EU’s cruelty-free commitment will not be allowed to stand.
“Moreover, the European Commission must come forward with substantive legislative proposals to phase out animal experiments, end the suffering of millions of animals in laboratories.”
Outcome of the campaign
The groups and campaigners now hope that the European Commission, members of the European Parliament, and national government will not only take immediate action to end animal testing for cosmetics but also “relegate all animal testing to the history books, where it belongs.”
However, for that to happen, the ECI will go through a rigorous verification process, in which each country will check the authenticity of the respective signatures from their country.
If there are one million valid signatures left after the verification process, then the EU decision-makers will detail what action, if any, they will take.
Joanna Swabe, the senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe said. “We are delighted that more than a million EU citizens have added their voices to the call to save cruelty-free cosmetics,”
“It is a travesty that the landmark legislation banning cosmetic tests on animals has been undermined by EU authorities who continue to exploit a loophole in the legislation and demand that animal tests are carried out on ingredients used in lipsticks and eyeshadow.”
She continued: “There are so many non-animal methods to ensure the protection of consumers and workers who are exposed to these chemicals, as well as the environment.”
Share this story: Petition for an EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics racks up over 1.4 million signatures.
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