The European Commission has validated a petition against animal experiments after more than a million signatures were collected across 22 EU countries, it announced on Thursday.
The petition, titled "Save Cruelty-Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing ", has become the ninth most successful European Citizens Initiative.
Although the EU has a ban on cosmetic animal testing, the petition states that "the promise has been broken", adding that many "authorities still demand animal tests on ingredients used in cosmetics."
In Belgium, the target number of signatures was exceeded by 148.98% – 22,057 citizens signed the petition out of the required 14,805.
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In addition to strengthening the cosmetics ban on animal testing, the petition calls for a transformation of the EU chemicals regulation to better safeguard human health without new animal testing requirements. It also called for a modernisation of scientific practices in the EU with an aim to phase out all animal testing.
The Commission now has until 25 July to present its response and the legislative measures it could propose in response. However, it is unclear what kind of response would be offered. Numerous petitions have been launched since 2015 to end animal testing for cosmetics, yet limited action has been taken.
Over 10 million animals were killed in laboratory experiments in the EU every year, according to the non-profit Cruelty-Free Europe.