Cosmetic testing on animals

Cruelty Free cosmetics

Many of us love make up and love animals. However, we may not think about the thousands of animals that undergo painful procedures for our safety during cosmetic testing.

With the availability of cruelty free products and thousands of ingredients that have already been certified safe, the SPCA opposes testing of cosmetics and household products on animals that causes pain, suffering or distress.

Many animal tests have been found to be unreliable, wasteful and even dangerous as they did not yield similar results in humans. Faster, more accurate and cheaper non-animal methods are constantly being developed and many have already gained industry acceptance.

However, many companies continue to test their products on animals.

(Photo credits: Cruelty Free International)

Draize’s Eye test

Invented in 1944 to test for irritancy and toxicity due to the coal use in mascara
Cosmetics are applied directly to the eye or bare skin of a conscious, restrained animal. Have been known to cause extreme pain.
Reported to be unreliable and inaccurate method due to differences between human and rabbit eyes as early as the 1970s. Alternative methods that do not use live animals have since been developed.
Despite this, many countries continue to insist on the Draize tests as a legal safety requirement.

Countries

Many countries have banned the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals entirely.

Cosmetics are manufactured in the countries listed below but animal testing of cosmetics is banned.

European Union
Norway
New Zealand
India
Israel

However, some companies in these countries may do animal testing overseas when it is legally required to sell their products in overseas markets.


China
Prior to 2014, all cosmetics produced domestically or imported had to undergo animal testing. Since then, China has permitted the use of non-animal safety tests on some categories of cosmetics produced domestically. However, animal testing on products manufactured outside China remains mandatory.

What about Hong Kong?
Hong Kong recognises many international cosmetic safety standards under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance (Cap. 456) and does not require additional animal testing as a pre-requisite for import and sale of cosmetic products.


CHOOSE CRUELTY FREE BEAUTY

Many companies say they do not test their finished products on animals.

However, a company is not cruelty free if they

1. Use ingredients that they separately test on animals
2. Pay other companies to test their products or ingredients on their behalf.
3. Test their products on animals when it is legally required by the countries want to sell in

Assurance schemes

There are several Cruelty Free assurance schemes where brands can seek third party accreditation. Each assurance scheme has slightly different criteria and verification requirements.

Of the three, the Leaping Bunny standard is the most stringent as companies are subject to an independent audit.

 

Organisation



Leaping Bunny (Cruelty Free International)

 



Choose Cruelty Free




Beauty without
Bunnies (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA)

 

Website

Website

Website

No. of accredited brands

700+

300+

2,000+

Main consumer market

European Union and North America

Australia and New Zealand

North America

Criteria

Requires finished product not tested on animals

Yes

Yes

Yes

Requires raw ingredients not tested on animals

Yes

Yes

Yes

Restrictions on certain animal ingredients

No

Yes

 

No

Requires parent company of the brand not to test on animals

No

Yes

 

No

Verification

Require written statements from ingredient suppliers that no animal testing has taken place

Yes

Yes

No

Independently audits the brand’s supplier monitoring system

Yes

No

No

Requires companies to undergo regular re-accreditation

Yes

Yes

No

Requires specific date/period to stop animal testing for accreditation

Yes

*Fixed cut off date

Yes

^5 year rolling rule

Yes

*Fixed cut-off date

Brand pays a licensing fee to use logo

Yes

Depends on brand turnover. Starts from GBP 105

Yes

Yes

 

^5 year rolling rule

*No products or product ingredients have been tested on animals by the company, by anyone on its behalf, by its suppliers or anyone on their behalf at any time within a period of five years immediately before the date of application for accreditation.


*Fixed cut-off date

A company’s fixed cut-off date is a date after which none of its products or ingredients will have been tested on animals.


SPCA X Tencent Mini Movie  “ Care for Life Project” – No More Time


About the mini movie  


As the night falls, a little girl falls asleep in the middle of a bedtime story. Her aunt looks at the stuffed animal toy in the girl’s arms, sighs and tells the little girl how humans treat laboratory animals. The animated film depicts the process of animal testing and how animals help each other escape the laboratories. The film aims to raise awareness for animal testing in the cosmetic industry and advocates for a boycott on artificial beauty created at the expense of animals’ sufferings.

Director: Lawrence Lau Kwok Cheong
Leading actress: Karen Mok