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We achieved a ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the EU!

Main Content:

Cosmetic Testing

Europe has listened - and said No to Cruel Cosmetics!

2013 was a truly historic year for animals - the ECEAE’s long-fought campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics in Europe finally came to an end!

The implementation of the last phase of the European Union’s ban came into force on 11th March 2013.  The ECEAE is immensely proud of this achievement – we have been campaigning to end animal testing for cosmetics for 23 years – and we have finally done it!

It has been a long and difficult journey to get here.  Over the years the ECEAE has fought each postponement and delay in our determination to end animal testing for cosmetics in Europe. We took our message to the public, the media, key European government departments and ultimately to Europe. We recognised the importance of a sales ban early on where no animal tested cosmetics could be sold in Europe, and continued in our fight to achieve both this and a testing ban.

We have been at the forefront every step of the way and are immensely proud by what we have achieved, together with you, our supporters.

Key dates:

1990 - The European Coalition to End Cosmetics Tests on Animals (now the ECEAE) was established by leading animal protection organisations to call for a ban on the cruel use of animals to test cosmetics in Europe.

1991 - The ECEAE organised an historic rally in Brussels culminating in a free concert, the highlight of two years of intensive political and public campaigning.  Iconic, larger than life ‘laboratory rabbit’ Vanity toured Europe to urge MEPs to vote to end animal tests for cosmetics.

1992 - The European Parliament took an historic decision and voted to end cosmetics tests on animals throughout the European Community.

1993 - The European Council of Ministers rejected the European Parliament and Commission proposal to effectively ban the marketing of cosmetics products and ingredients tested on animals, thanks in part to the powerful cosmetics industry which was vehemently opposed to any proposal for a ban at the time.  

1996 - The ECEAE joined forces with The Body Shop and presented a petition containing 4 million signatures to the European Commission with Chrissie Hynde and Anita Roddick. 

2000 - The European Commission abandoned plans for a ban on the sale of animal tested cosmetics in the EU and instead proposed a ban on the animal testing of finished products in two years and a ban on the testing of ingredients three years later, with the possibility of further postponements.

2003 - The 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive was adopted.  It contained provisions for the phased introduction of EU wide testing bans and bans on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU.

2009 - On 11th March the 7th Amendment brought into force two bans, and it became illegal to test cosmetic ingredients on animals anywhere in the EU and to sell or import into the EU any ingredients to be used in cosmetics tested on animals after that date. However, three types of animal tests were exempt until March 2013 in order to allow non-animal alternatives to be validated.

2011 - The ECEAE launched our No Cruel Cosmetics campaign, receiving support from celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Morrissey and Sienna Miller, after it became clear the European Commission was considering recommending delaying the final phase of the ban for up to ten years. 

2012 - The ECEAE held a day of action in Brussels, handing in our petition and hosting a well-attended breakfast briefing for MEPs, key meetings with official representatives from the EU Council, Commission and Presidency, and a flash mob choir.

2013 - A complete ban on animal testing for cosmetics came into force on 11th March. 

Read more about the history of our ground-breaking campaign 

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