The UK-based animal rights group's campaign is using celebrities and top UK retailer Marks & Spencer, together with male grooming brand Bulldog, in an attempt to bring awareness to the fact that products containing ingredients tested on animals can still be legally sold in Europe.
The EU had set a deadline of 2013 as the cut off date to ban the sale of any cosmetic product containing ingredients tested on animals, but problems finding feasible alternatives to certain animal tests could delay the deadline.
The BUAV claims that this could see the ban delayed by as much as another 10 years, a time-frame in which it says thousands of animals could be ‘injected, gassed, force-fed and killed for cosmetics on sale in the EU.
Bulldog joins the campaign
“At Bulldog we believe that testing cosmetics and toiletries on animals is cruel and unnecessary, which is why we carry the Leaping Bunny as independently approved by the BUAV,” said Simon Duffy, co-founder of Bulldog.
The Leaping Bunny logo was launched by the BUAV to identify cosmetic and toiletry products that are free of any ingredients tested on animals, and has become particularly popular in the UK, as well as other developed markets worldwide.
The campaign has also enlisted the sponsorship of Pussycat Doll’s singer Kimberly Wyatt, who recently launched a make-up range called BM Beauty.
Speculation that the EU will miss its deadline on banning animal testing for cosmetics ingredients grew when UK-based Guardian newspaper published an article suggesting that the current time-frame was impossible to achieve.
Ban has been implemented in a staggered fashion
Since 2009, using animals to test cosmetics ingredients in the European Union has been banned. In addition, a marketing ban has been introduced, which bans the sale of products containing ingredients tested on animals elsewhere.
However, this marketing ban was introduced in a staggered fashion, depending on what the test was designed to find out, with some falling under a 2009 deadline and some a 2013 limit. And, this is where the complication arises.
Some of these tests have proved more complicated than others to replace with non-animal alternatives, and last summer the European Commission published a document highlighting that replacements for many of the tests set for a 2013 ban were not yet available.