Supported by 620 MEPs, the resolution is set to guide civil servants and member governments of the European Commission and European Council to advocate to the UN on an end to animal testing in cosmetics globally.
The resolution is is backed by The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International, and follows the fifth anniversary of the EU’s ground-breaking ban on the sale in Europe of new cosmetics products and ingredients tested on animals outside the EU.
Other countries globally that already have an animal testing ban for cosmetics in place include South Korea, New Zealand and India.
“Despite the availability of approved and scientifically more accurate non-animal tests, that are proven as quicker and often cheaper, there are still no laws banning animal tests for cosmetics products and ingredients in 80% of the world,” said Cruelty Free International in a statement on the vote.
Global ban needed
The vote was instigated earlier this year by a move from a group of MEPs from the EU’s Environment Committee.
These MEPs note that the EU ban has not impacted negatively on the industry, but indeed at times it can be undermined by other markets not having bans in place.
Part of the motivation behind the call for a worldwide ban, according to the MEPs, is the fact that “shortcomings have appeared within the EU system, as some cosmetics are tested on animals outside the EU before being re-tested in the EU using alternative methods and placed on the EU market.”
According to the Special Eurobarometer survey No 442 of March 2016, 89% of EU citizens agree that the EU should do more to promote a greater awareness of the importance of animal welfare internationally.
Furthermore, 90% of EU citizens agree that it is important to establish high animal welfare standards that are recognised across the world.
Response to pressure
Jessie Macneil-Brown, Head of Global Campaigns, The Body Shop, said: “Our customers worldwide are hugely supportive of cruelty-free cosmetics and we have gathered more than 5.7 million signatures in just ten months for our Forever Against Animal Testing campaign.
“The EU ban has demonstrated that it is possible to have a healthy, thriving cosmetics market without the need for animal testing and today’s positive vote will take us a big step closer to an international agreement.”
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, said: “Five years after the full EU bans, the time is right to go one step further. The leadership that MEPs have shown by adopting this resolution deserves much credit.
"Now it’s time to work together to deliver a global end to cosmetics animal testing and eliminate animal suffering around the world.”