Animal Testing Updates

Last updated: 25 July 2019

Tailor is, and always will be, cruelty free. Being an issue close to our hearts, we want to keep you in the know when it comes to animal testing around the world.
Keep reading for updates on important issues + updates related to animal testing, as well as links to some great resources we use to keep informed and discover cruelty free products.

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Animal testing + Brexit
Animal testing + China
Cruelty free sites 



How could Brexit affect animal testing and cosmetic safety?⁠
If the UK leave the EU with no deal, the UK will no longer have the same access to the database built up by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).⁠ This database is the largest in the world and contains information on more than 16,500 chemicals- much of which is the result of animal tests.

The ECHA oversees REACH, a programme which establishes procedures for collecting and assessing information on chemicals and other hazardous substances. ECHA then receives and evaluates each registration for their compliance, and assess whether the risks of substances can be managed. In the event of a no deal departure from the EU, the UK will build domestic capacity to deliver the functions currently performed by ECHA.

Currently, British companies do not own the testing data for roughly three-quarters of the chemicals covered by REACH. A survey completed by CBI of 38 key companies found "most of them would not have access to their testing data once the UK leaves REACH." No data= no market.

"This would mean twice as many animals would suffer. If existing EU animal-test data is not shared with the UK, then the same animal tests would have to be carried out again by the UK for the same information," explained Cruelty Free International.

According to Euro Group for Animals, "animal testing in the UK would increase by an estimated 50% as the UK loses access to crucial EU testing information." 

An open letter was written by 12 UK MPs to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs seeking "a commitment that there will be no duplication of animal result of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union."⁠
So far, there has been no guarantee from the UK government.⁠

The UK will be exiting the EU on 31 October this year, less than 4 months from now.⁠


Before we sink our teeth into this super complex issue, let's define some important + frequently used terms...
Special Use Cosmetics // products such as haircare, skincare, nail products and fragrances (Tailor falls into this category)
Non-Special Use Cosmetics // products such as hair dye, deodorant and sunscreen
Filing // application to sell cosmetic in China
Pre-market testing // required testing on product before it is sold in China
Post-market testing // required testing on product when it is being sold in China

Will new legislation mean China is cruelty free?
The first crucial change came in 2014, when China ruled animal testing "no longer an absolute requirement" for non-special use cosmetics produced in China. At this time, China still required animal testing for imported and special cosmetics.

In 2018, Cruelty Free International launched a project to "help remove the remaining barriers of entry for cruelty free cosmetics brands looking to manufacture and market their products in China."

In early 2019, exciting news came when a draft form of Filing of Non-Special Use Cosmetics "could allow companies selling imported non-special use cosmetics—such as shampoo, body wash, lipstick, and lotion—in China to avoid the requirements for tests on animals," reported PETA.
Humane Society International (HSI) described the update as "encouraging but not yet a guarantee that no animal testing will ever again happen post-market". When asked what has changed with this update, they explained, "China recently released for the first time its post-market testing plan, and it reveals that no animal tests are listed for routine post-market surveillance." Despite this, they warned "in the case of non-routine tests, eg: a consumer complaint about a product...animal testing could still be the default."

Being such a complex law, we turned to China Law Insight to break down the information. They explained the change would mean "both domestically manufactured and imported non-special use cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing requirements provided the manufacturer has obtained relevant qualifications for quality management and the product passes a safety risk assessment."
As mentioned previously by HSI, the new legislation doesn't explicitly rule out post-market animal testing even for those who have satisfied the criteria and been issued an exemption. However, China Law Insight noted "the risk of such testing taking place is in our experience remote i.e. for the past several years there have been no reports of animal testing on cosmetics by Chinese authorities as a routine regulatory measure."

As of 1 January 2020, China will have 9 approved methods to prove the safety of cosmetic products (pre-market) that don't include animal testing.⁠ Much of this is thanks to Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), who recently developed two new test methods, which "will be the preferred toxicological tests for the registration and pre-market approval of cosmetic ingredients."


Ethical Elephant for reviews, blogs + updates
Cruelty-Free Kitty for guides on cruelty free (+ not) brands
My Beauty Bunny for cruelty free product reviews + products
Cruelty Free International for updates + educational resources
SAFE NZ for NZ specific cruelty free brands, education + updates
PETA for updates, educational resources + action

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