Thank you to all who have contacted me about the ban on animal testing in the UK for cosmetic purposes.
I oppose the testing of cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients on animals, and I believe that such testing is wrong. We have a responsibility to our natural world, to wildlife and to animals.
I know that lots of people will have very strong feelings on this subject. Respect and compassion for sentient beings are issues of morality and of the utmost importance to the British people.
I welcome the news that the Government has now ended the issuing of further licences for the testing of cosmetic ingredients. This was happening to comply with EU regulations adopted in 2020 to ensure worker safety with cosmetic ingredients and retained after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The Government has now said it is engaging with relevant companies to determine ways forward on legacy licences, of which it states there are seven.
I am proud that in 1997 the then UK Government introduced the ban of testing cosmetics on animals, which was extended to include cosmetic ingredients in 1998. I disagree with the attitude that animal testing is a necessary evil and key to scientific discovery. As times change, so do views and so must our behaviour.
More broadly, I want to see the phasing out of all animal testing. I would like the Government to commit to a comprehensive review of animal testing, including the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 which governs this issue, and a commitment to ending severe suffering as permitted under UK legislation. I also want an end to the opaque project licence applications for animal research programmes. I believe that the development of alternative methods of testing using human cells and tissues, and of artificial intelligence and modelling techniques, means that we should have a greatly reduced reliance on animal testing.
Thank you once again to all who have contacted me on this issue. I can assure you that I will continue to support the ban on animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients.