Conservative UK government allow animal testing for cosmetics after 25-year ban

NEWS AND OPINION: To compound their earlier failures particularly those of Liz Truss, the short-lived former Prime Minister, this dying conservative government has allowed the use of animal testing for cosmetics to protect the workers making the products after this form of animal testing was banned in the UK in 1998.

Animal testing for cosmetics
Animal testing for cosmetics. Image: MikeB

The BBC reports that the government changed the policy on animal testing to align with the EU chemical policy as governed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which ruled that companies making cosmetics needed to test some ingredients to protect the manufacturers’ workers.

It seems that despite the UK ban on animal testing for cosmetics there was a loophole which allowed them to slip in this form of testing. They had retained the EU rules despite leaving the EU in 2020 and issued licenses.

The testing could include chemicals in foundation cosmetics which are tested by forcing rats to ingest and/or inhale them. We don’t have details about the number of licenses issued. For instance, in low doses homosalate (an organic compound that belongs to a class of chemicals called salicylates) is safe but in higher concentrations it may harm the immune system.

The government’s decision was challenged in the hight court by Cruelty Free International (CFI). They argued that the testing was in breach of the ban on animal testing for makeup.

The judge. Mr Justice Levin, decided that it was legal and said that this form of animal testing (to protect workers in factories) complied with the law.

There are a number of articles on animal testing for cosmetics on this website. If the topic interests you, please click on this link. They provide an interesting backstory to this one.

This is a backward step in animal welfare. It goes against the brave words of Boris Johnson when he has Prime Minister. He was convinced by his wife to improve animal welfare in the UK. It has all gone backwards since.

Dr Julia Fentem, head of the safety and environmental assurance centre at Unilever (a company which makes lots of cosmetics) said that the testing could be conducted without animals and allowing animal testing in this context was unnecessary.

Some major beauty brands are unhappy with the judgement. It has been criticised by Unilever as mentioned and Boots and the Body Shop.

The BBC say that most major cosmetic manufacturers agree to a ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

For instance, Christopher Davis, director of activism and sustainability at the Body Shop said:

Allowing animal testing for cosmetics would be a devastating blow to the millions of people who have supported campaigns to end this appalling practice.

They will campaign vigorously against the changes.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Constipation experiments on cats to benefit America’s military veterans

Experiments regarding incontinence and constipation (dysfunctional voiding) on domestic cats are taking place in America. They are cruel experiments and they are designed to research medical treatments for America’s military veterans who have been injured and are suffering various health challenges including incontinence, frequent urination, general dysfunctional avoiding, diabetes and spinal cord injuries.

VA cat experiments
VA cat experiments. Photo: The Sun newspaper who I presume got the photo from VA in disclosure.

Information about what can only be described as cruel experiments on not only cats but other animals was unearthed by the White Coat Waste Project under a Freedom of Information Act request. The White Coat Waste Project is a watchdog which represents animal and liberty lovers who don’t want to see taxpayers money to the tune of $20 billion spent annually on cruel experiments on animals. The experiments are commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA).

The VA buys healthy cats and performs this invasive surgery. They implant electrodes to stimulate bladders or colons et cetera. The use artificial poo made from bran, potato flour and saline in bowel experiments. They break the spines of the cats in some instances. Comment: I presume this is to simulate the injuries that some of the veterans are suffering from.

The bladder research was needed, it is said, because more than 15 million Americans suffer from dysfunctional avoiding, incontinence and frequent urination. These conditions are related to spinal-cord injury, ageing and diabetes which is commonplace in the military veteran population, said the VA.

They use domestic cats in the experiment because they are big enough to have the devices fitted. They want to better diagnose and treat the causes of these problems. They say that cats control their bladders in a similar way to humans. The fake faeces are forced into the rectums of the cats.

The Sun newspaper reports that the cost of these experiments is up to $1 million per year. The vice president of the White Coat Waste Project, Justin Goodman, said:

Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay millions for VA bureaucrats to buy healthy cats, cripple and mutilate them, and videotape their abuse in wasteful, bizarre and deadly constipation experiments.

Medical records confirm that the cats were and are very distressed and depressed. The VA has been accused of torturing the cats, some as young as six months of age. It is argued that the experiments should be conducted on human volunteers which would make them more useful and accurate. Information obtained show approval to experiment on 35 cats. They are killed after the experiments. All the experiments are classified as painful and are scheduled to run until December 2020.

The White Coat Waste Project has lobbied Congress which, I am told, has cut funding for the VA’s dog tests which are being phased out by 2025. In defence, the VA says that it is committed to supporting research to improve veteran’s medical care. Most of the research is done on human subjects, computer models and on the analysis of existing data “from biological systems other than vertebrate animals”. They also say that “less than 5% of that last 1% depends on living vertebrate animals involving dogs, cats or nonhuman primates”. In other words relative to the entirety of the research, cats are rarely used. Comment: they are still used.

Observation: of course it’s gruesome and horrible to read reports like this. It is cruel and ironic that military veterans who have been tragically injured in battle are the reason why cats have to be tragically injured in sterile laboratories where they become depressed, distressed and killed at the end of it all. It seems wrong to pile pain on more pain, distress on more distress. A lot of people argue that animal experiments in their entirety should be phased out as quickly as possible. They are often not as efficient as they might be because it is difficult to transfer the experiments to treatments on people despite the similarities in the anatomy and physiology of cats and people.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Animal Testing Facts | Product Labelling

This photo tells it like it is!

This photo tells it like it is!

This photo tells it like it is! This is NOT how to love a cat! I'm just a baby! Animal testing IS animal abuse!

Ruth sent me the link for this petition and I believe it worthy of a story. Today I want to talk about product labeling for animal testing and what we need to demand concerning it. A group called labelling has began a petition we all need to support.

First, here's the petition site: Labelling Clarity

Here are some of the companies who still test their products on animals. This includes testing on CATS!!

* Garnier
* Johnson & Johnson - makers of Listerine and baby care products
* Kimberly-Clark - makers of Huggies
* Proctor & Gamble - makers of Fabreeze, Fairy, Pantene and Tampax
* Ralph Lauren Fragrances
* Reckitt Benckiser - makers of Glade
* SC Johnson & Son - makers of Pledge
* Unilever - makers of Dove and Vaseline
* Nestlé Purina®/Friskies {see Purina Pet Cat Food}

The U.K. government statistics show that 3.5 million animals suffered or died from animal experiments in 2009. This is in the U.K. alone. One of the shocking animal testing facts.

This is a good link for animal testing facts, abuse by testing, food and other forms of abuse. in the U.S. Try 25 MILLION tested per year! And this IS abuse. Many animals who survive the testing are later killed. The word researchers used is "sacrificed" (ghastly isn't it?). Please see: Safari cats research as one small, illustrative, example. Uncaged is also a very good website for facts on animal testing.

The big companies presently have the upper hand in keeping consumers blind, hiding animal testing facts from us. Many products tell when they aren't tested on animals, but those who DO test don't bother to mention THAT on their labels. Nor do they mention whether each ingredient itself has been experimentally tested on animals. The U.K. is leading the way in changing this.

This doesn't surprise me. I've found through my articles that the U.S. is sorely lacking in their respect of animals as far as abuse, testing and the declawing of cats.

Although this is an article about passing legislature in the U.K., I hope it will become standard worldwide for companies to be legally obligated to report if and how animals were used in any way in their products.

Those of us who choose not to eat, wear or use products tested on animals have the right to know when we are committing a moral sin against our very beliefs. Animal lovers have the right to choose based on labeling information on animal testing. There should be a legal obligation to disclose animal testing facts.

It's time for the big companies to understand this.

Don't you agree we should all know whether a product has caused the pain or death of a living, breathing animal? Please feel free to comment.


Animal testing facts - Source:

I'd like to credit Stop Animal Testing! on Facebook for the use of the photos for this article. They say it all.

See also: Animal Testing for Cosmetics

From Product Labeling For Animal Testing to Articles of Elisa Black-Taylor

Comments for
Animal Testing Facts | Product Labelling

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Feb 21, 2011
latest list
by: Ruth

The latest list of companies still testing on animals is here :

Nov 26, 2010
Thanks for the link!
by: Jenny Elliott-Bennett

Thanks for putting a link up to my petition! Please do feel free to use any of the information on my Labelling Clarity site.


Nov 06, 2010
Mending a poor image takes decades
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Companies with poor ethics should be aware that mending a damaged image often takes decades.
Just remember Shell, who was boycotted for their disposal of the Brent Spar oil buoy, or the French winefarmers, who never recovered the market shares lost due to their country's nuclear testing.
Companies involved in cruel, unnecessary animal testing will not be forgotten either...

Finn Frode avatar

Nov 04, 2010
Earlier post more facts
by: Michael

I have just discovered an earlier article I did on this subject! I added a link to this page from it. Here is the article: Facts on Animal Testing.

Michael Avatar

Nov 03, 2010
by: Michael

Thanks Elisa for this very informative article. Personally, I hate the idea of animal testing but the general population is polarised on this subject. Some think it has to take place for the benefit of people. If we are to test experimental treatments we should do it on people. We have no right to abuse animals for our benefit, it is fundamentally immoral in my view. But this is so typical of the human race.

Michael Avatar

Nov 03, 2010
Thank you Elisa
by: Ruth

Thank you Elisa for this very informative article which hopefully will reach thousands of people who are against animal testing and maybe also thousands who still don't realise it goes on so much.
Lots of signatures are needed to get the petition noticed so I hope everyone will take a moment to add theirs.
I joined the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) when I was 18 years old, if I'd known this abuse would still be happening 45 years later I'd have despaired.
Yes as Elisa says the UK are leaders in animal welfare,we have our Animal Welfare law and at present a hunting ban. But to our present government animal welfare comes way down the priority list. Our unelected PM wants to repeal the hunting ban and now we hear that because of all the cuts this coalition government are making to save money, the number of Inspectors going round research laboratories are to be drastically reduced. Bad enough many animals have to suffer in those places but with less inspections of them the abuse could and surely will get even worse than it is.
This is a huge step backward and it makes me very very sad.
PLEASE everyone, hit the pockets of cruel greedy firms who keep these places in business, check every product you use to ensure no animal has suffered and died for it.
Support such as:
who do wonderful research work without using any animals but who get no government funding, only rely on donations.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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