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Animal testing for cosmetics won’t resume in the UK, says Rishi Sunak

May 11th, 2023

(Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Rishi Sunak on Thursday categorically ruled out watering down Britain’s ban on animal testing for cosmetic products for consumers.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s important that the public are reassured here.

“The ban on using animals to test cosmetic products or ingredients for the consumer remains completely in force.

“There are absolutely no plans to change that.

“It also remains the case that it is unlawful for any business to sell cosmetic products or their ingredients that have been tested for the consumer on animals. “So to be crystal clear this is never going to happen.

“Any changes in EU law on this will not impact our position.

“We will take the necessary steps to ensure this is the case.

“There will be no weakening on our position on animal testing and indeed we have some of the highest animal welfare standards and are exploring ways to enhance our position as a leader on animal welfare.”

It came after the High Court last week ruled ministers were acting lawfully when they changed a policy on animal testing to align with EU chemical rules.

In 2020 the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), an EU agency which oversees chemical regulation, ruled that companies needed to test some ingredients used in cosmetics on animals to ensure they were safe for workers manufacturing the ingredients.

Manufacturers still cannot undertake any animal testing to check the safety of the makeup for consumers. This should be done using other methods.

The move led to criticism from campaigners “dismayed”at the government’ apparently allowing animal testing for makeup ingredients.

Animal rights groups feared this would lead to the resumption of testing in the UK.

But today a spokesperson for Mr Sunak said this was not the case.

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