The European Commission has said it will accelerate its efforts to phase out animal testing in the EU in response to a proposal by the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The coalition “Save Cruelty-free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing”, suggested actions that could be taken to further reduce animal testing, which was welcomed by the Commission. 

This would build on the full ban on animal testing for cosmetics, which has been in place in the EU since 2013. The commission said it would launch a new roadmap with a set of legislative and non-legislative actions to further restrict animal testing, with one of its goals cited as moving towards an animal-free regulatory system under chemicals legislation. Support towards researching the development of alternatives to animal testing will also be part of the plan.

There is also the intention of strengthening the cosmetics animal testing ban to extend the legislation to also cover safety tests and the environment.

The European Citizens’ Initiative was registered in June 2021, later collecting over 1.2 million signatures in support which were then verified by the Member State authorities. Only six of the 90 registered ECIs have successfully completed the validation stage so far (which includes reaching 1 million valid signatures).

This initiative called on the European Commission to do the following: 1. Protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban (initiate legislative change to achieve consumer, worker, and environmental protection for all cosmetics ingredients without testing on animals for any purpose at any time). 2. Transform EU chemicals regulation (Ensure human health and the environment are protected by managing chemicals without the addition of new animal testing requirements). 3. Modernise science in the EU (Commit to a legislative proposal plotting a roadmap to phase out all animal testing in the EU before the end of the current legislative term).

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Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.