Beauty retailer The Body Shop is partnering with Cruelty Free International and calling for the UK government to halt the “silent reintroduction” of animal testing.
The move comes as new research from The Body Shop reveals that the British public is not aware of the UK government’s silent change in policy made in 2019, which is once again allowing animal testing for cosmetics.
An absolute ban on animal testing for cosmetic products was declared in the UK in 1998. However, in 2019, the UK government re-aligned with less stringent EU rules, which allow ingredients used in cosmetics to be tested on animals under chemicals legislation called REACH.
Following a court case brought by Cruelty Free International, the government has reintroduced the ban, but only for ingredients exclusively used in cosmetics, which accounts for about 20 percent of the total.
The research found that the majority of British adults aren’t aware of current animal testing laws and practices, with a quarter still believing that all animal testing on cosmetics is banned, and only one in ten people are aware of the 2019 change to the UK government’s policy.
However, the beauty brand reveals that there is widespread public support for a full ban on animal testing with seven in ten UK adults stating they would be less likely to use cosmetics if they knew the ingredients were tested on animals.
25 years after UK ban on animal testing The Body Shop calls for the government to halt its silent reintroduction
To address this, The Body Shop and long-term campaign partner Cruelty Free International are joining forces to campaign for an outright ban on animal testing for cosmetics and have tapped TV personality Lucy Watson, Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Divina de Campo and influencer Demi Colleen to drive awareness of the legal loophole through a range of content, including by going ‘bare faced for cruelty free beauty’.
From December, the campaign will also be visible in selected The Body Shop stores around the UK, where in-store displays will urge customers to join the fight against animal testing. The brand is reviving the iconic vintage 'Against Animal Testing' t-shirts from 1998, which can be purchased online and in certain stores.
Chris Davis, international sustainability, activism and communications director at The Body Shop, said: “Beauty does not need to come at the cost of animal rights - and our cruelty-free products have been proving that since the 1980s. It’s an outrage that the Home Office has silently been issuing permits for animal testing, despite its clear public commitment over 25 years ago to a full ban.
“We and our partners started this fight against animal testing a long time ago, and our resolve is stronger than ever to see it through today.”