On 25 July 2023 the EC responded to the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) titled 'Save Cruelty-free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing.'
The response outlines the EU's current legislative and policy framework related to animal testing and proposes additional measures to further reduce and ultimately eliminate animal testing.
Here are the key points from the Commission's response:
Animal Testing for Cosmetics:
The Commission acknowledges the concerns of European citizens regarding animal welfare and emphasizes the EU's leading role in phasing out the use of animals for testing purposes. It highlights that the EU has had a full ban on animal testing for cosmetics since 2013. However, it notes that certain safety tests related to chemicals under the EU's REACH regulation are not covered by this ban. The Commission is monitoring court cases related to the interface between cosmetics and chemicals legislation, and potential legislative changes might be considered based on the outcomes of these cases.
Reducing Animal Testing in Chemicals Legislation:
The Commission commits to working with relevant stakeholders on a roadmap to establish chemical safety assessments that do not involve animal testing. This roadmap will guide future actions and initiatives aimed at progressively reducing and eliminating animal testing within the context of EU chemicals legislation.
While the Commission does not see the need for new legislation to phase out animal testing in research, training, and education, it expresses strong support for developing alternative approaches to animal testing. The Commission proposes several actions to accelerate the reduction of animal testing, including exploring coordination among Member States, organizing workshops, and creating training initiatives for young scientists.
The European Citizens' Initiative is a mechanism that allows citizens to prompt the European Commission to
propose legal action in areas where the Commission has the authority to do so. For an ECI to be considered,
it needs support from at least 1 million citizens across seven EU member states. The 'Save Cruelty-Free Cosmetics' initiative is the ninth to meet these criteria and the fifth successful initiative related to animal
welfare or the environment.
The Commission's response reflects the EU's commitment to animal welfare and its ongoing efforts to phase
out and eliminate the use of animals in testing, especially in the cosmetics and chemicals sectors. The
proposed roadmap and actions aim to accelerate this transition while also promoting alternative methods
and approaches in scientific research and assessments.