Target: Rt Hon. Theresa May, Secretary of State for the Home Department
Goal: Ban animal testing for not only household products but their ingredients as well
In 2011, Home Office member Lynne Featherstone voiced her support for a comprehensive ban on animal testing on household products. In spite of her words, the government in the United Kingdom has failed to commit to the ban by continuing to allow animal testing on ingredients used in household products. Tell Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May that animal testing in unacceptable for both ingredients and their final products.
When the coalition government in the UK said in 2010 that it planned on ending the use of animal testing for household products, animal activists like those at the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) rejoiced. However, the recently published legislation that seeks to ban any new licenses from being granted for animal testing on household projects may not be as powerful as they would have hoped. When asked about the new law, Home Office Minister Damian Green said that there was “no authoritative definition of household product” and that the new guidelines would apply to “substances used in the household” on a “case-by-case basis.” Even more troubling than the Minister’s vague language is the fact that most animal testing is done on the ingredients that are ultimately used in these products. The BUAV points out that last year according to government figures, there were no cases of animal testing being used in final household products, making the ban ultimately ineffective.
But animals, like mice, rats, guinea pigs, and even dogs and rabbits are used to test highly toxic chemicals and additives used in household products. These tests often include force-feeding toxic doses of chemicals or monitoring the effects of high doses on the skin and eyes. Common results of testing are “vomiting, seizures, ulceration, internal bleeding, convulsions and organ damage.” By refusing to define household products or ban the use of animal testing on their ingredients, Minister Damian Green has ignored the plight of these innocent creatures and broken Lynne Featherstone’s pledge to end testing on both products and their ingredients. As the EU moves forward with legislation to end animal testing on cosmetics, join the BUAV in demanding legislation that actually prohibits animal testing on both products and their ingredients with strong and clear language.
The Rt Hon. Theresa May,
In 2011, former Minister Lynne Featherwood said that the government favored a ban on animal testing on household products that would “apply to both finished household products and their ingredients, although in practice mainly the latter are tested.” The recently published legislation on the issue shows a clear shirking of responsibility in favor of vague wording and powerless enforcement by the government. When he was asked to clarify the legislation, Minister Damian Green responded that there was “no authoritative definition of household product” and that the new guidelines would apply to “substances used in the household” on a “case-by-case basis.” Mr. Green’s elusive response shows a incomprehensible neglect of the fact that animal testing is used primarily on the chemicals and additives used in household products. In fact, according to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, no cases of animal testing on finalized household products were reported last year.
This testing takes innocent mice, rats, guinea pigs, dogs and rabbits and forces them to swallow and be sprayed with highly toxic chemicals, resulting in conditions like internal bleeding, convulsions and organ failure. This kind of abuse is absolutely unacceptable. As the EU moves towards a ban on all animal testing in cosmetic products, please place the UK at the forefront of the animal welfare movement by enacting meaningful legislation that actually saves lives. The government has made a promise to the public that it needs to fulfill.
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