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Singer Leona Lewis, comedian Ricky Gervais and former Spice Girl Melanie C have joined Humane Society International's Cruelty-Free 2013 campaign to end the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the European Union.

In a set of stunning shots by top celebrity photographers Ray Burmiston and Christopher Ameruoso, the stars have sported temporary tattoos with an ‘End Animal Testing’ message to urge consumers to sign HSI’s on-line petition.

Mel C Humane Society Tattoo
Mel C Humane Society Tattoo

“It’s upsetting to think that right now thousands of animals are enduring painful tests for cosmetics that could end up being sold on EU shop shelves,” said Leona Lewis. “So I’m sending a plea to EU politicians to have a heart for animals by keeping their promise to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in 2013. If companies can’t sell their products, they’ll stop animal testing, and we’ll be one stop closer to the whole world being cruelty-free.”

Animal testing for cosmetics is banned in the EU, but products and ingredients tested on animals in countries such as the United States, China and Brazil continue to be sold in EU shops. Thousands of animals – such as rabbits, guinea pigs and mice – are subjected to cruel and inhumane experiments including being forced to swallow cosmetic chemicals or have them dripped into their eyes.

“It’s shocking to think that behind the glamorous advertising and glossy packaging, there can lurk the ugly truth of chemicals forced down an animal’s throat,” said Ricky Gervais. “It would be nice if companies would stop animal testing just because it’s the right thing to do. But in reality, for as long as they can sell their products, they’re unlikely to change. That’s why I’ve signed HSI’s Cruelty-Free 2013 petition calling for the sale of animal-tested cosmetics to be banned in the EU without delay.”

A Europe-wide ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics agreed 18 years ago under the Cosmetics Directive was originally due to be implemented in 1998. It has since been pushed back three times – to 2000, 2002 and 2013 – and now the European Commission is considering further postponement.

“I believe we should always strive for beauty without cruelty to animals,” said Mel C. “A new shade of lip gloss or a different scented moisturizer just isn’t worth an animal’s life, let alone the lives of thousands of animals still subjected to painful testing around the world. EU politicians promised to ban animal-tested cosmetics from shop shelves come 2013, so let’s hold them to that promise. Sign HSI’s petition and let’s kiss goodbye cosmetics animal testing once and for all.”

HSI believes compassionate consumers have waited long enough for EU shop shelves to be cruelty-free and is asking consumers to sign its on-line petition here . So far, nearly 40,000 people have signed, calling for the sales ban to be implemented without delay. The petition will be handed in to Brussels’ officials later this year.

Humane Society International, through its United States affiliate, is a member of the Leaping Bunny program, an internationally recognised cruelty-free standard for cosmetic, personal care and household products. Leaping Bunny approved brands include Urban Decay, Montagne Jeunesse, BullDog Natural Skincare and L’Occitane, as well as high-street stores Marks & Spencer, Superdrug and Argos. All approved companies are independently audited to prove they don’t test on animals nor buy ingredients animal tested after a fixed cut-off date.

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