European Parliament hearing for the ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics’ ECI: 1.2 million citizens demand (again) to stop animal testing


European Parliament hearing for the ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics’ ECI: 1.2 million citizens demand (again) to stop animal testing

25 May 2023
Press Release
Save Cruelty-Free Cosmetics: Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing ECI moves forward with a hearing at the European Parliament.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels, 25 May 2023 

In an unprecedented milestone, the European Citizens Initiative "Save Cruelty-Free Cosmetics —Commit to a Europe without animal testingreached more than 1.2 million validated signatures in January. This is the second ECI on this issue that has surpassed the one million signatures mark, with the first being Stop Vivisection in 2015.  

Continuing on its formal journey, after an initial meeting between the ECI organisers and the European Commission, the next step was the parliamentary hearing, held by the Committees of the European Parliament. The hearing was divided into three parts, corresponding with the ECI's three objectives:

  • Protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban: initiate legislative change to achieve consumer, worker and environmental protection for all cosmetics ingredients without testing on animals for any purpose at any time.
  • Transform EU chemicals regulation: ensure human health and the environment are protected by managing chemicals without the addition of new animal testing requirements. 
  • Modernise science in the EU: commit to a legislative proposal, plotting a roadmap to phase-out all animal testing in the EU, before the end of the current legislative term.

The ECI organisers: Cruelty Free Europe, Eurogroup for Animals, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, Humane Society International/Europe, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals proposed actions for a win-win-win scenario for science, society and animals by supporting once again a plan to transition to non-animal science

During the hearing, the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs – the Commission’s department for growth – committed to “try to be as ambitious as we can possibly be” in reaching their “ultimate goal of phasing out animal testing in the long-term”. This was reiterated by Ms Carmen Laplaza Santos, of the EC’s Health Innovations & Ecosystems unit, who promised the Commission’s final and detailed response to the Initiative by the end of July.

Over ten million animals—cats, dogs, rabbits, mice and others—are harmed every year in research and testing in laboratories around Europe. European citizens are demanding an end to the use of animals in cosmetics and other chemical tests, as well as an achievable plan to transition to a science without the use of animals.

This overwhelming public support echoes the position taken in 2021 by the European Parliament, which led to a resolution calling on the European Commission to coordinate, together with Member States, a concrete plan to accelerate the transition to non-animal testing.

The EP hearing was also the occasion to launch the Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing briefing prepared by the ECI organisers. 

"Citizens are calling on the EC to take a leadership role in the transition to non-animal science and drive a new way of thinking without animal experiments. We would like to thank the citizens, the NGOs, the researchers, the industry, the governments and the members of parliament that already support these goals. This ECI shows that EU citizens share many of this Parliament’s positions as laid out in the EP Resolution. We are confident that the EP will help to break the cycle of harms that come with animal experimentation, by supporting once again the end of all animal testing for cosmetics, no additional animal tests for safety assessments, and a roadmap to accelerate the transition to non-animal research, regulatory testing, and education,” commented Sabrina Engel, chair of the organising committee for the ECI.

Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics: Briefing following the ECI

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The briefing Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing 

Press contacts

Agnese Marcon, Communications Manager, Eurogroup for Animals 

+32 (0) 456 078 038 

Steve Gibbs, Press Officer, Cruelty Free Europe  

+44 (0) 7850 510955 

Dr Tamara Zietek, Representative, European Coalition to End Animal Experiments

+49 2203 20222 31

Cassie Bodin-Duval, International Coordinator, Media Relations, Humane Society International/Europe

+32 (0) 469 149 469

Sascha Camilli, Senior PR Coordinator, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals 

+44 (0) 20 7923 6244

Eurogroup for Animals represents over ninety animal protection organisations in almost all EU Member States, the UK, Switzerland, Serbia, Norway, and Australia. Since its foundation in 1980, the organisation has succeeded in encouraging the EU to adopt higher legal standards for animal protection. Eurogroup for Animals reflects public opinion through its members and has both the scientific and technical expertise to provide authoritative advice on issues relating to animal protection. Eurogroup for Animals is a founding member of the World Federation for Animals which unites the animal protection movement at the global level.

Cruelty Free Europe is a Brussels-based network of animal protection groups working to bring animal testing to an end across Europe. With 19 associate members, we act as a force for animals in laboratories across the EU and the wider European neighbourhood. Working with elected Members of the European Parliament, governments, regulators, officials and supporters, our experts coordinate efforts to secure change for the animals currently suffering in experiments in Europe. We believe there is no rational moral justification for using animals in experiments. Instead, we champion progressive, humane scientific research and cruelty free living.  

The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) is an umbrella organisation of 18 animal protection and scientific organisations across Europe. They envision a world in which animals are no longer used in experiments, and are instead treated with respect and compassion, free from human exploitation. They strive for a paradigm change in politics, research and society to enable a future where modern and humane animal-free methods are used in research, testing and education instead of animal experiments.

Humane Society International/Europe with a presence in more than 50 countries, Humane Society International works around the globe to promote the human-animal bond, rescue and protect dogs and cats, improve farm animal welfare, protect wildlife, promote animal-free testing and research, respond to natural disasters and confront cruelty to animals in all of its forms.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation along with its international entities in France, Germany and the Netherlands, is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of animals. Working through education, research, legislative and policy change, outreach and international harmonisation, PETA seeks to accelerate the transition to animal-free science and advance the development and use of non-animal testing approaches to improve the protection of human health, the environment and animals.