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Great News about testing household products

We have some great news. 

We have recently received a letter from the Home Office stating:

“We have made a commitment to ban the testing of household products on animals. Although superficially straightforward, this issue has not been easy to resolve. Any solution has to be legally viable since we cannot ban testing which may be required under UK or EU law.

We also need to be cautious that we do not develop a solution that precludes research that is essential or drives research overseas. The key issue is around ingredients. I am looking to develop a solution that is workable and sensible, but does not have a chain of unforeseen circumstances. 

We are looking to publish progress on the commitment later in the year.” 

Norman Baker MP, Minister of State.

Lynne Featherstone has replaced Norman Baker as the Lib Dem Minister in the Home Office following his resignation.

Please write to Lynne Featherstone and tell her how delighted you are that the Government will be honouring its election pledge to end the testing of household products, and their ingredients, on animals.

You can download a template letter here.  All you need to do is insert the date, sign it, add your name and address and post it directly to Lynne Featherstone at the Home Office (her address is included at the top of the letter). 

If you have time, instead of sending our template letter, please use it to help you compose your own letter.

BACKGROUND

When the Coalition Government came into power in 2010, it promised to ‘end the testing of household products and their ingredients on animals,’ but there’s been next to no progress towards 

achieving this goal. We know from long experience that the experiment industry will not take action on its own – only by regulation and pressure will anything be achieved. 

In recent months we have been in communication with Norman Baker at the Home Office regarding this issue, pushing for a ban on the use of animals to test household products to be introduced. 

We believe that it’s unacceptable to use animals during the development of new products that are simply duplicating similar products that are already in the marketplace and effective for the purpose intended. 

As our regular supporters are aware, since 1991 we’ve campaigned against the use of animals to conduct toxicity tests on cosmetics, toiletries and household cleaning products.

In 1998, the UK Government were finally persuaded to ban toxicological procedures involving cosmetics and toiletry ingredients and products and, as of 11th March 2013, the sale of cosmetics and toiletries that have been developed using animal testing anywhere in the world is banned throughout the EU. And now we want to see the same happen for household products.

Currently, few or no animals are being used in toxicological procedures for the purpose of substances used in the household. However, it’s for this very reason that now is the ideal time to introduce a ban on the testing of household products AND their ingredients on animals. A ban would serve as a statement of principle by the UK; ensure no further animals suffer during the development of household products in the UK; and send a strong message to the EU and the rest of the world. 

It’s interesting to note that the UK Cosmetic Testing Ban was also introduced at a time when few animals were being used in the development of these types of product.

We view this as an ideal opportunity for the Government to prove it keep its promises.