Speaking on the day the ban came into play, Dr Chris Flower, Director-General of the CTPA in the UK – where animal testing has been banned since 1997 – said that great strides have been taken in the cosmetics industry, and that this has influenced animal welfare developments in other sectors too.
“The primary objective of the cosmetics industry has always been safe, innovative cosmetics without the need for testing on animals,” he said.
“For more than twenty years, our scientists have worked diligently to develop scientifically valid alternatives to animal tests to ensure safety. Today, our industry is the most successful sector globally in developing such validated alternatives.”
The ban applies to all new cosmetics and their ingredients sold in the EU, regardless of where in the world testing on animals was carried out.
The 27 EU countries have had a ban on such tests in place since 2009; but the EU Commission is now asking the EU's trading partners to do the same.
“The final marketing deadline, which applies to imported as well as European cosmetic products, is the final step in a series of actions that began with the Europe-wide ban on the testing of cosmetic products on animals in September 2004,” continued the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association boss.
“We are wholly committed to meeting these requirements, and to continuing to develop alternatives to animal testing that will benefit both our industry and wider sectors.”
Greater scientific collaboration
The new hope is that the deadline will provide the impetus for even greater collaboration between the industry’s scientists, regulators and the wider scientific community, addressing those challenging areas where non-animal tests are not yet available to assure safety.
“Since we will not compromise on safety, there will be innovations that will not be available to European consumers first in future,” added Flower.
“We welcome the European Commission’s announcement that it will continue to support such research because by working together, we can expedite the search for animal-free alternatives, speed up the regulatory process for validating these and share our animal-free safety practices with authorities worldwide.”