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Millions of animals are tortured every year in the name of beauty and human health. These dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, rats, mice, guinea pigs, birds and other animals are victims of animal testing for the household products, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. While many argue that testing on animals is not only cruel, but also yields unreliable data, since animal biochemistry and physiological systems are inherently different from those of humans, it is still a practice that continues in the United States today, despite the fact that several, effective non-animal alternatives exist.

But it’s not like that everywhere.

It’s quite an eye-opening experience when you take a look at other countries’ stances on animal testing and realize just how far behind the United States is on this issue. All around the world, countries are helping to put an end to animal testing by placing bans and restrictions on the practice within their borders, as well as restrictions on items that are permitted for export and import.

Here’s a snapshot of what other nations around the world are doing about animal testing:

The European Union

The EU has held long-standing opposition to animal testing, with a ban on animal-tested cosmetics first introduced into law in 2004. In 2009, the ban widened to include animal-tested ingredients and in 2013, the EU announced a ban on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals.


Earlier this year, China declared that animal testing is no longer required by law for cosmetics produced in the country. Although it does not represent a full-out ban on animal testing, it definitely opens up the doors for more cruelty-free options.


In May, India finalized its ban on the use of animal testing in cosmetics. The new law also requires that non-animal alternative testing methods become common practice in the country.


Although not a member of the European Union, Norway quickly followed suit and announced a ban on cosmetics tested on animals around the same time the final EU ban was set in place in 2013.


In early 2013, Israel banned the import, sale and marketing of any cosmetics, toiletries or detergents that employed the use of animal testing at any stage of its manufacturing process.


In May, Brazil became the first Latin American nation to place restrictions on cosmetics that have been tested on animals.

Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea & Taiwan

Although bans do not yet exist in these countries, definitive action to bring about change has begun. With momentum on this issue increasing daily, bans or restrictions in these nations may be a real possibility in the near future.

As of this posting, the United States has not placed restrictions on animal testing, however, legislation to do so has been introduced and many organizations, successful brands and high-profile individuals have committed to taking up the cause to enact change. Given changing international and national attitudes toward the use of animals for cosmetic and pharmaceutical testing, the United States is primed to take action. The U.S. prides itself on the ability to be front runners on freedom and justice…so why not extend the same ideas to animals?

What You Can Do

By supporting companies that do not test on innocent beings, you are telling the world that you do not support the cruel practice of animal testing. After all, in a capitalist society supply and demand rules what is placed in market, so why not drive out products that test on animals?

Make sure your voice is heard!

To find companies who have taken a stand against animal testing, check out Leaping Bunny’s shopping guide, PETA’s searchable database and be sure to read up on some awesome cruelty-free companies right here on One Green Planet!

Image source: USDA/Wikimedia

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25 comments on “The United States of Animal Testing: How the U.S. Measures Up to the Rest of The World”

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TN Harris
4 Years Ago

They use monkeys and rats at nih and the cdc for vaccine manufacturing and testing. That will never stop. They also use human diploid cells as well; that is why abortion will never be illegal.

Kirsten Lassen-Smith
4 Years Ago

Stop the abuse!

Michael Durkin
4 Years Ago

sadly, for new drugs, animal testing will most almost always be required around the world. However, the humane treatment of these animals can and should be improved, e.g. prevent death as much as possible, and raising standards for animal care, and how many trials does a chimp, pig, dog or rabbit need to endure before being allowed to be free. For non-drug products, e.g. shampoos, detergents, cosmetics, animal testing can and should be phased out, as most of the irritants have already been tested before.

Abby Gail
4 Years Ago

That is F ed up.

Elena Lipovska-Pierce
4 Years Ago

Power of corporations!

Dena Butler Moore
4 Years Ago

One site I follow and LOVE what they are doing to rescue as many from the tortures of labs world wide is Beagle Freedom Project , An estimated 65,000 dogs are kept in laboratories nationwide, according to the Beagle Freedom Project. Most of the dogs used for scientific experimentation are beagles, according to the BFP, bred for the job because their kind is so docile. I find this tradgic!! I do NOT know how "humans" work in these labs, look at these poor creatures, do what they do to them, and then accept a paycheck to do it!! Karma owns a LOT of souls is all I can say!

Carrie Walters
4 Years Ago

I refuse to buy from any corporation who tests on animals and I don't consume any animal products. I realize my choices aren't for everyone but it's how I do my own small part to stop this torture and abuse.

Bibek Karki
4 Years Ago

I think bec.. India has understand notTo voilate the animal right but usa does't bec.. There want is more n they can choose the animals that r not endangered.

Wendy Nomel
4 Years Ago

This is beyond my comprehension.

Angie Bateman
4 Years Ago

Shame on the US !!


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