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Monday, November 16, 1998 Published at 12:02 GMT

UK Politics

Campaign switches to European front

Anita Roddick: Wants EU-wide ban on cosmetic testing

Animal welfare campaigners are welcoming the end of cosmetic testing on animals.

The announcement that testing is to stop comes after those firms still carrying out tests agreed with the government to surrender their licences voluntarily.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast News animal welfare campaigner and founder of the Body Shop Anita Roddick said she did not feel any harm would come to humans now that animal testing has stopped.

She said: "The irony is that there is better methodology. They just have to be validated by a group of trade bodies who are committed in their pursuit of new chemical ingredients.

[ image: Many scientists say animal tests are vital for medical research]
Many scientists say animal tests are vital for medical research
"There are thousands and thousands of ingredients that can still be used."

The effective ban on tests comes after months of negotiations between ministers, officials and the industry to persuade companies to stop using animals - mainly guinea pigs, rats and mice - in the last remaining tests.

Ms Roddick, added that she hopes the ban will become international. "The European Union is the next stage," she said.

"It is mostly the dilemma of Europe, America and Japan, but the biggest cloud on the horizon is the economic deals that say any goods can pass though any country whether they are made in despotic regimes, human rights abusers or the animal testing industry - so that is the next campaign."

Andrew Butler of Peta: Ban a major step
A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said: "It is an important step to end all animal experiments because they have included ingredients in this ban - previously it had only included finished cosmetic products.

Speaking for the cosmetic industry a spokeswoman for the Cosmetic Toiletry & Perfumery Association said: "The cosmetic industry has a long-term commitment to an extensive programme of research into the development of non-animal alternative methods of safety assessment and to the ultimate elimination of all animal testing."

[ image: Carla Lane: Hopes move will set a precedent]
Carla Lane: Hopes move will set a precedent
TV writer Carla Lane, a well known campaigner also echoed the call of other campaigners to extend the ban overseas.

"I would think that the fact that this has happened here has set a precedent and I hope it could happen in other countries.

"We are not just trying to stop vivisection, we are trying to stop a trade that is shameful. We want people to find alternatives and that is what so few people have tried to do."

MPs have also welcomed the move but Roger Gale, Tory MP for North Thanet and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Animal Welfare Group, said the 'ban' was a "largely cosmetic progress".

He said: "Very few cosmetics - ingredients or whole products - have been tested on animals in the UK in recent years.

"We need to be aware that the European Cosmetic Directive that would ban the use of animals for these purposes throughout the EU is still on the back-burner and there is a danger that we may simply see experiments move from the UK to other countries.

"What is needed is real investment, by the countries of the EU, into alternatives that will obviate the need for the use of animals worldwide, coupled with the repeal of all regulations that unnecessarily demand that animals be used."

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