The humane treatment of animals should be a benchmark for any civilized society and I have long believed that the UK must lead the world on high animal welfare standards and in the fight against global animal cruelty.
I am proud that in 1997 the UK Government banned the testing of cosmetics on animals. In 1998, this was extended to cosmetic ingredients. After 2009, other EU countries adopted a near-total ban on the sale of products tested or containing ingredients tested on animals for cosmetic purposes, with a complete ban on the sale of cosmetics developed through animal testing in place since 2013.
This applies to all new cosmetics and their ingredients sold in the EU, regardless of where in the world testing on animals takes place.
While the UK has shown strong leadership on this issue, there are a number of countries around the world where the cosmetics animal testing and the sale of animal-tested cosmetics are still permitted.
I am aware that Cruelty Free International is calling on the UK Government to press the United Nations to develop an international agreement to end cosmetics animal testing everywhere. I believe that national governments have a duty to work together to fight animal cruelty around the world and I would like to see the UK do more to encourage other countries to ban animal testing for cosmetics.
I hope that the UK Government will consider and respond to the issues that have been raised by organisations such as Cruelty Free International about the continued practice of cosmetics animal testing.