Humane Society Launches 'Be Cruelty-Free' Cosmetic Campaign


WASHINGTON—The Humane Society and Humane Society International (HIS) launched a global campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics—Be Cruelty-Free. Outside of the United States, the campaign is being launched from HSI offices in Australia, Canada, Europe and India, with scientific outreach programs in several developing cosmetics markets. Be Cruelty-Free will be a truly global and formidable force for change and aims to create the consumer awareness and political momentum needed to achieve a worldwide end to animal testing for beauty and personal care products.  

“Consumers are largely unaware that sentient creatures are still poisoned for the sake of new shampoo and lipstick, even though such testing can be avoided," said Kate Willett, director of regulatory toxicology, risk assessment and alternatives for The Humane Society. “The Be Cruelty-Free campaign is calling on consumers, legislators and companies to end cosmetics testing on animals because no animal should die for cosmetics."

Such testing is already banned in Europe and a further ban on the sale of cosmetics that have been newly tested on animals in other parts of the world is expected to come into effect in March 2013. U.S. law does not require companies to test cosmetics or their ingredients on animals, but only to assure that their products are safe for use. This can be done using established, safe ingredients and available non-animal test methods, such as 3D human skin, and other sophisticated cellular and computer models.

Some companies have already sworn off animal testing, but others continue to produce new cosmetic ingredients and test them on animals. The vast majority of animals used for cosmetics testing in the United States are not even covered by the minimal standards of the Animal Welfare Act or counted in official statistics. 

The Be Cruelty-Free Campaign is launching with a nation-wide petition to end cosmetics animal testing as well as the sale of newly animal tested beauty products. The petition is the first among other planned activities.

The HSUS and HSI believe testing on animals to produce new cosmetic products or ingredients is unjustified. Animals are subjected to considerable pain and distress during toxicity tests. Animal toxicity tests are also scientifically unreliable for assuring human safety because animals and humans can respond very differently to the same chemicals.