Humane Society International's campaign to end animal testing of cosmetics worldwide and ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in Europe, took a step nearer success this week as Tonio Borg was formally approved by the EU Council at the new EU Health Minister.

Borg has publicly expressed his desire to see fully implemented the long-awaited EU marketing ban on animal-tested cosmetics, due 11 March 2013. His appointment marks a significant change in direction regarding implementation – his predecessor, Commissioner John Dalli, was considering introducing ‘loophole’ measures to continue allowing newly animal-tested ingredients to be sold in the EU.

Humane Society International’s Senior EU Policy Advisor, Emily McIvor, welcomed this new milestone in their global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics: “Dr. Borg has made his views absolutely clear, and it is now likely that the 2013 marketing ban on animal-tested cosmetics will stand. This once again puts the EU at the forefront of global efforts to rid the world of cosmetics animal testing, and all of the needless animal suffering caused by the so-called beauty-business. Humane Society International will be calling on cosmetics companies to embrace the ban, and show what can be done to hasten the development of non-animal test methods. There is now real hope that we are closer than ever before to ridding the EU—and the world—of animal-tested cosmetics.”

Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign has gathered substantial public, political and celebrity support for an end to cosmetics cruelty in Europe and across the world – including support from Sir Paul McCartney, rock legend Chrissie Hynde, comedian Ricky Gervais and actress Dame Judi Dench.

Sir Paul signed the charity’s Be Cruelty-Free pledge to show his support and commented: “The ugly truth about testing beauty products on animals is that it causes them unimaginable pain and suffering. If every cosmetic tested on rabbits or mice had a photo on the packaging showing these animals with weeping swollen eyes and inflamed skin, I believe everyone would leave cruelty on the shelf and go for the cruelty-free option instead. So, let’s stand up for those defenceless animals by supporting the Humane Society International’s new Be Cruelty-Free global campaign to end animal testing of cosmetics worldwide. Go online, sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge today and help HSI achieve a world where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics.”

In April, to mark World Week for Animals in Laboratories, HSI and cruelty-free cosmetics company LUSH joined forces to hand in more than 350,000 petition signatures to the EU Commission.

Although animal testing of cosmetics was banned across the EU in 2009, it is currently still legal to sell cosmetics that have been animal-tested elsewhere in the world. In countries such as China, Brazil, the United States and India such testing is still commonplace – rabbits, guinea pigs and mice have cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes and spread on their shaved skin. The ban on selling these cosmetics is due for implementation in March 2013. HSI’s campaign in Europe is part of its global Be Cruelty-Free initiative to end cosmetics cruelty worldwide. Launched in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Brazil and beyond, it aims to achieve a world where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics.

HSI believes that testing cosmetics on animals is both unethical and unnecessary. Cosmetics can easily be produced the cruelty-free way, by using the thousands of existing ingredients for which safety data are already available, combined with advanced non-animal testing methods such as 3D human skin and advanced computer models.

Sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge at hsi.org/becrueltyfree.

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