During the last election cycle, Great Britains
Labor Party promised to abolish animal tests for cosmetic products, and
it followed through in November by announcing an agreement with the cosmetics
industry to ban all such tests.
The ban, however, will affect only a small
percentage of animal tests in the UK. According to the Home Office, only
1,266 of 2.64 million animal procedures involved cosmetics testing that
would be banned under the agreement. And the ban doesnt mean cosmetic
products in the UK will no longer involve animal testing. Most such testing
already takes place outside the UK, in countries such as Japan, France
and the United States. Most of the little cosmetic animal testing done
in the UK will simply be outsourced to those countries.
The real point of the ban is largely symbolic
animal rights activists hope the ban in Great Britain will help
kick start their efforts to get a European Union-wide ban on animal testing
for cosmetics ingredients and finished products.