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The Body Shop wants to end animal testing forever

The campaign aims for a United Nations international convention against the practice

By Grace Wong | Published: 2 Jun 2017

No more animal tests
Photo: The Body Shop

Scan the labels of the The Body Shop's products and you'll see the Leaping Bunny logo proudly emblazoned. It's a cute little thing, importantly signalling cosmetics, personal care and household product brands not tested on animals. Yet the brand is not the only one touting cruelty-free beauty products. In fact, it's never been easier to find skincare, makeup and hair care companies committed against animal testing.

But The Body Shop was a trailblazer. Led by founder Anita Roddick in 1989, it was the first major international company to speak out on the issue of animal testing for cosmetics and the first to be certified under the Humane Cosmetics Standard. That Leaping Bunny logo? The Body Shop received the certification back in 1997, also a first.

The brand experienced its greatest triumph in 2003, when after decades of campaigning alongside the BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, now Cruelty Free International), the European Union officially banned the sale and import of animal tested products and ingredients.

This created a substantial ripple effect, with similar bans slated for Australia and Taiwan in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and large beauty companies increasingly phasing out animal testing for new products.

However, institutional change is slow. 80% of countries around the world still don't have laws for this, and most countries don't require companies to make the data available to the public or regulators.

Now, The Body Shop is taking their fight to the top. In its most ambitious effort yet, the brand has once again joined forces with Cruelty Free International to launch its Forever Against Animal Testing campaign. It aims to collect 8 million signatures for a petition calling on the United Nations to introduce an international convention to end the practice for good.

The numbers are heartbreaking. Over 500,000 animals are tested on each year, and just one new ingredient can result in the deaths of at least 1,400 animals – commonly mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters.

Given that alternatives (hi-tech computer modelling and reconstituted human skin) are cheaper, faster and more effective, it only makes sense to move away from this.

Want to get involved in the cause? Sign the petition online or at any of the The Body Shop's stores worldwide. To explore the discussion online, check out the campaign hashtag #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting.

Related: Cruelty Free International Calls For ASEAN Ban On Animal Testing


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