The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments has today warmly welcomed the news that two more EU countries, Austria and Belgium, have joined Sweden in standing by the 2013 deadline for a ban on marketing new animal tested cosmetics. ECEAE Chief Executive Michelle Thew said, “The ECEAE is delighted to have the support for the 2013 ban from the Belgium and Austrian governments. The use of animals to test cosmetics is an issue of strong public interest across the EU."
There has been a ban on conducting animal tests for cosmetics in the EU since 2009. However, cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU can still be sold. A sales ban that would prevent this is due to come into effect in 2013, but this could now be delayed by up to ten years. If that happens, tens of thousands of animals will continue to die in cruel cosmetics tests for beauty products sold in the EU.
The ECEAE has launched the No Cruel Cosmetics campaign to uphold the sales ban on new animal tested cosmetics, and is preparing for a decision by the European Commission on whether to propose any change to the planned 2013 deadline.
The Austrian submission to the European Commission states, “The option of a delay is out of the question as far as Austria is concerned. It could not be defended politically and would send an entirely false signal to industry and research. Moreover, for many consumers, the continuation of animal testing for cosmetics would be ethically unacceptable. Maintenance of the current approach (gradual introduction of a ban linked to the development of alternatives) would also indirectly be equivalent to abolishing the deadline. Through the removal of the deadline, the pressure to develop and validate alternative methods would fall away.”
Laurette Onkelinx, Belgian Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, writes to ECEAE group GAIA: “I am pleased to inform you that, as the Minister responsible for animal welfare, I am entirely in favour of maintaining the European ban as foreseen for 2013... I am indeed convinced that the decision made at the time to ban the test on animals for the development of these products, followed by a marketing ban, was perfectly justified and that the delays that were envisaged then were sufficient to enable the cosmetics industry, whose innovative capability is always shown as exemplary, to turn to alternative methods or means of production which no longer require in vivo tests.”