The Mentalist star Owain Yeoman and Grammy-nominated singer Leona Lewis are showing bunnies some love this International Rabbit Day.

Owain Yeoman & Nibbles
Owain Yeoman & Nibbles

They are supporting the Be Cruelty-Free campaign of The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to put an end to animal testing for cosmetics around the world.

The stars are featured in exclusive photos where they can be seen cuddling up to adorable rabbits, one of the most commonly used animals in cosmetics testing. Owain’s photo shows the actor sporting a Be Cruelty-Free t-shirt with rescued rabbit Nibbles. Leona donated a photo from her personal collection for a day of global #BeCrueltyFree twitter action. The photo shows the singer with her own rescued bunny Melrose.

Unlike Europe, Israel and India where cosmetics animal testing is banned, the U.S. does not prohibit companies from testing cosmetic products or ingredients on animals. But the HSUS’ Be Cruelty-Free USA campaign aims to end such testing.

Yeoman says: “It’s the saddest thing to know that rabbits can’t cry, which is one of the reasons these gentle creatures are used in painful eye tests for cosmetics. When I think of their unnecessary suffering I could certainly shed a tear, so I’m backing the Be Cruelty-Free campaign to see an end to animal testing in North America and globally. Show the bunnies some love and let’s end cosmetics cruelty.”

Lewis said: “Ending animal testing for cosmetics is close to my heart, and so is my bunny Melrose. Melrose is so gentle and loving with such an amazing personality all her own, it breaks my heart to know there are thousands of rabbits who are just as special suffering a terrible fate to test cosmetics. I would never dream of causing Melrose pain, but in laboratories around the world, rabbits and other helpless animals still have chemicals dripped in their eyes or spread over their sensitive skin just to test new lip sticks or shampoo. I want their suffering to stop. I’m proud to be a bunny-hugger for Be Cruelty-Free on International Rabbit Day. Be a bunny-hugger too and let’s end cosmetics cruelty!”

In the U.S, rabbits are still used in painful eye and skin irritation tests for consumer products. Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice all endure untold suffering for the beauty industry. Developed in the 1940s, these tests involve holding rabbits in full body restraints so that chemicals can be dripped in their eye or spread on their shaved skin. These tests are notoriously unreliable as well as extremely cruel, causing eye reddening, swelling, ulceration, even blindness, or skin cracking and bleeding. Unlike humans, rabbits have no tear ducts so they are unable to cry out the harmful substances.

Be Cruelty-Free USA is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally, Humane Society International and its Be Cruelty-Free partners are leading the charge to end cosmetics cruelty in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Korea, New Zealand and Russia, with Be Cruelty-Free USA spearheaded by The HSUS and Humane Society Legislative Fund.

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