Dove, The Body Shop and a unique coalition of animal protection organisations take a stand against animal testing in cosmetics (Photo : Getty Images/Olivier Matthys)
MEP Sylwia Spurek poses in front of the European Parliament at the Place du Luxembourg on September 29, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. Dove, The Body Shop and a unique coalition of animal protection organisations take a stand against animal testing to save cruelty free cosmetics in Europe with the support of MEPs in Brussels.

The Body Shop, a British skincare and cosmetics company, has once again partnered with Cruelty Free International to renew their campaign calling for a complete ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the United Kingdom.

"We need cast iron assurances that no animals have been tested on for cosmetics," The Body Shop said in a statement shared on its website. "Full stop. End of. We need a full ban back."

The renewed effort came after a recent study conducted by The Body Shop, revealing widespread unawareness among the public regarding the U.K. government's quiet policy shift in 2019. This shift allowed cosmetics companies to resume animal testing.

What The Body Shop's new research uncovers

According to the research, most Britons still believe that all animal testing is entirely prohibited, remaining unaware of the 2019 alterations to the government's policy.

Animal testing for cosmetic products was completely banned in the U.K. in 1998. However, in 2019, the U.K. government abandoned this ban and followed less strict European Union rules, which allow ingredients used in cosmetics to be tested on animals under a chemicals legislation called the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) law.

Cruelty Free International contested this decision through a legal case, prompting the government to reinstate the ban, albeit limited to ingredients used '"exclusively" in cosmetic products. But these constitute only approximately 20% of the total number of ingredients used to make the products.

This means that certain ingredients used for cosmetics and other purposes may still receive approval for animal testing.

What The Body Shop wants

The Body Shop said it believes a partial ban is insufficient. The company is advocating for a total and complete ban on animal testing on "all" ingredients used in cosmetics, as is its longstanding partner Cruelty Free International.

"Most recently, due to immediate campaigning by us, other brands, and of course Cruelty Free International, the Government has confirmed that no more animal testing licenses for ingredients used 'exclusively' in cosmetics will be issued," The Body Shop stated. "This is good news! However, the word 'exclusively' still causes us great concern."

The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International's campaign

The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International reignited their fight against animal testing by launching a new campaign that will be displayed in select stores of the cosmetics company across the U.K. beginning in December. The goal of the campaign is to urge customers to get actively involved in the fight against animal testing.

TV personality Lucy Watson, "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Divina de Campo, and influencer Demi Colleen were tapped by The Body Shop to back the campaign and raise awareness about the legal loophole. They will create various content, including showcasing "bare-faced for cruelty-free beauty."

The Body Shop has been fighting for animal rights and taking actions to stop animal testing since 1989. The company supports alternative testing procedures that spare consumers and animals from unnecessary suffering, claiming that non-animal tests are even more efficient, reliable, and quicker.

 According to Cruelty Free International, more than 500,000 animals could be subjected to cosmetic animal testing globally each year.