Activists on Thursday brought 8.3 million signatures against cosmetic animal testing to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
On World Animal Day (October 4), dog activists and their owners eagerly joined the global movement to end animal testing in cosmetics organized by The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International. The dogs and their owners took more than 8 million signatures to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, calling for an end to animal testing in cosmetics globally.
The celebration of these signatures is a culmination of more than 30 years of advocacy between The Body Shop, the first international beauty brand to campaign against animal testing in cosmetics, and its long-time campaign partner Cruelty Free International, the first global, non-profit organization dedicated to ending cosmetic product and ingredient testing on animals.
The joint effort is the most ambitious campaign ever against cosmetic animal testing and serves as a model to inspire action from businesses, governments and citizens to advance Sustainable Development Goal 12 (SDG12): Responsible Consumption and Production.
Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the U.N. Global Compact, joined The Body Shop to discuss how businesses can do more to engage and mobilise consumers in support of the SDGs.
The petition signatures, collected from supporters around the world in just 15 months, call on the countries of the U.N. to formalize an international framework to end cosmetic animal testing, everywhere and forever.
Cosmetic animal testing is cruel, old-fashioned, expensive and inefficient. Today, there are more reliable alternatives. The Body Shop and many other cruelty-free companies use innovative and effective cruelty-free ingredients in all their products, all tested through non-animal methods.
Although there has been sizable progress, 80 percent of countries still have not made it illegal to test cosmetics on animals. Cruelty Free International estimates that more than 500,000 animals each year are used in cosmetics testing.
A global framework is the only way to eliminate animal suffering and create a level playing field around the world.
Harmonizing safety testing requirements globally would allow companies to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and test duplication when accessing international markets.
Not only would a global framework give confidence to companies that they are producing safe and effective cosmetics while meeting consumer demand for truly cruelty-free products, but also, the global framework would align with the United Nation’s vision of a world in which, “humanity lives in harmony with nature and in which wildlife and other species are protected.”
“In just 15 months more than 8 million people signed their names in recognition that cosmetic animal testing is outdated and unnecessary,” said David Boynton, CEO of The Body Shop. “We are determined to finish what Dame Anita Roddick started back in 1989, and today we are at the United Nations to call for collaboration among the cosmetic industry, civil society and governments to finally end cosmetic animal testing everywhere.”
“This campaign demonstrates that consumers around the world want to see real change,” said Jessie Macneil-Brown, Global Head of Activism at The Body Shop. “We look forward to working with U.N. leaders to make this a reality.”
“A global framework is the only way to truly eliminate animal suffering,” said Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International. “The petition demonstrates that across the globe, people want this practice to end.”
“This initiative shows the potential for brands to engage and mobilize consumers at scale in support of the SDGs, and how, by combining business innovation, enabling policies and consumer power, real change can be achieved,” Lise Kingo said. “The SDGs are everybody’s business, and we look forward to working with The Body Shop to build and share industry knowledge and insights on how to harness consumers and drive collective action.”