PARIS, Sept 1 — In association with several international organisations, The Body Shop and Dove are joining forces to call for laws banning animal testing in Europe to be upheld through the launch of a petition aiming to collect one million signatures.

The initiative follows a recent request from the European Chemicals Agency to carry out new tests on animals for some ingredients used in cosmetics.

Animal rights groups and cosmetics industry giants are joining forces to say no to animal cruelty.

The move follows new requirements from ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency, seeking to make animal testing possible again in order to evaluate certain substances already used in the industry.

The Body Shop and Dove, with the support of organisations including PETA, Cruelty Free Europe, HSI, Eurogroup for Animals and ECEAE, are today calling on European citizens to mobilise against these decisions by signing a “European Citizen’s Initiative” petition now available online.

In a joint statement, the brands explain that animal testing is no longer necessary to ensure safety in cosmetics, since modern, scientific, non-animal and equally human-relevant methods have been developed and used by specialists for decades.

After many campaigns and advances in the fight against animal cruelty, the ban on the sale of cosmetic products tested on animals in the European Union came into force in March 2013.

The ban proved a model in the field, inspiring debate and reflection in many other countries around the world.

But NGOs and cosmetics industry players now fear a return to the past following a decision by the ECHA’s Board of Appeal in 2020 to conduct tests on animals to assess two substances, homosalate and 2-ethylhexyl salicylate.

“At Dove, we stand passionately against animal cruelty. We strongly believe that there is no role for animal testing for beauty products or their ingredients, and have pioneered safe and humane alternatives to assess the safety of products and ingredients for many years. This commitment drives us to take urgent action to protect the ban against animal testing in the EU,” explains Firdaous El Honsali, Senior Director of Global Communications and Sustainability at Dove.

Street murals in several European cities

In order to make the presence of this European petition known to as many people as possible, The Body Shop and Dove are taking to the streets of Berlin, Paris, Milan and Madrid with a full-scale awareness campaign.

Citizens will be able to discover dedicated artworks on the walls of their cities, accompanied by a slogan inviting people to join the fight to end animal testing and save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe.

The campaign is being led hand in hand with the artist and activist, Nina Valkhoff.

“It’s sad that — once again — we have to fight a battle that Europe’s citizens thought they had already won, but with a successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), we can make decision-makers listen, protect the groundbreaking bans, and secure concerted action to end the suffering of animals in EU laboratories for good,” hope the animal protection groups involved alongside the two cosmetic brands. — ETX-Studio