Bunny rabbit

Animal rights activists are celebrating an historic victory this week for countless animals as the European Union has announced its intent to ban the sale of all cosmetic products that have been tested on animals, effective March 2013.

According to a post on the website of the animal right’s group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): “The European Commission has confirmed that it will uphold the original March 2013 deadline for the ban on the sale, within the European Union (EU), of any cosmetics or cosmetics ingredients that have been tested on animals.” The Commissioner Tonio Borg delivered the news to PETA U.K. offices personally, the organization reports.

What this means, says PETA is that “companies all around the world that want to sell cosmetics in Europe will have to abandon animal testing for cosmetics that they want to sell in the EU.”

The animal cruelty-free cosmetic retailer The Body Shop, along with Cruelty Free International, were also pivotal in helping campaign for the ban. From a statement released by The Body Shop, “The proposed ban sends a strong message worldwide in support of cruelty free beauty and in particular to countries such as China, who still demand animal testing for cosmetics, to also respond and ban testing on animals.”

According to The Body Shop, “The ban affects all cosmetics including toiletries and beauty products from soap to toothpaste.” Animal testing on cosmetic products includes some of the most horrific treatment of animals—with little benefit to the consumer—most of the products tested on animals are inherently made of toxic chemicals, detergents and artificial colors and fragrances that are still harmful, even in mild doses. Most naturally derived cosmetic products are not tested on animals.

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Image: aussiegall