Animal testing: Switzerland follows EU approach with ban

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Animal testing: Switzerland follows EU approach with ban

Related tags: Animal testing, European union

Switzerland has introduced an official ban on the retail of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, bringing it closer in line with the EU ban on animal-testing in the industry.

Switzerland officially put the ban in place at the end of December, following through on its announcement  earlier that year, in March 2016, that it intended to outlaw the marketing of all cosmetics that have been tested on animals abroad.

The EU has had a ban on animal testing for cosmetics since 2013: Currently in the EU, no products are allowed to be tested on animals and no products can be sold in the region if they have been tested on animals elsewhere.

A global trend

Switzerland is the latest in a long list of countries around the world that have committed to bans on animal testing for cosmetics, with the movement becoming a major factor for consideration for any international formulators looking to market products in regions that uphold bans.

Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, said: “We are delighted that Switzerland will no longer allow cosmetics for which animals have suffered to be sold in the country. This move is the next step in our 20-year campaign to end cruel animal testing everywhere and forever.”

The pressure group notes that some major markets,​ however, are still yet to put any ban in place, calling out Australia, Canada and the US among these.

With no similar measures in place, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and the US are falling behind. It is time now for every government to step up and do the right thing.​”

EU in focus

In 2016, the topic of the EU’s ban on animal testing for cosmetics was debated due to a court case where a trade group, the European Federation of Cosmetics Ingredients, hoped to find a route around the ban on cosmetics that are tested on animals in other markets.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in response  that there are to be ‘no exceptions’ to the ban, effectively shutting down any hopes that there could be wriggle room in EU cosmetics rules.

"The Court states next that EU law makes no distinction depending on where the animal testing was carried out,"​ it asserted in a statement. As such, Switzerland’s move puts the country in line with its immediate neighbours.

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