The BUAV, together with our colleagues in the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), have launched a new initiative with concerned companies across the industry, with the goal to gain acceptance in China for the well-established and validated methods that are available as an alternative to cosmetics testing on animals. We have invited companies to join this campaign whether or not they are already certified under the Humane Cosmetics Standard, so that we can get the broadest possible support for our objective to persuade the Chinese government to remove this barrier to ethical trade.
Both animal protection campaigners and the cosmetics industry are very concerned about the absence of alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics in China, as well as the requirement to do additional testing even for products already tested elsewhere. This puts industry in a difficult position, since many products have been long accepted around the world and companies are reluctant to see further animal testing take place when the products are already known to be safe. However, reports suggest that China is now planning to open the possibility of non-animal alternatives.
In March, at an inaugural meeting at the BUAV offices in London, representatives of leading cosmetics companies and the BUAV met to discuss how progress could be made, with the support of the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe in finding a way forward that would meet the concerns of all sides. The productive meeting reached agreement on a number of ways to pursue the issue in partnership and it is hoped to have significant progress to report later this year.