Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.

A recent High Court ruling dismissed a legal challenge by Cruelty Free International (CFI), an animal welfare organization, that accused the UK government of secretly abandoning a historic ban on animal testing for cosmetic products.

CFI alleged that the Home Office changed its policy after February 2019, allowing animal testing of cosmetic ingredients, and claimed that this weakened the ban, first announced in 1998, and was unlawful. The Home Office countered, saying it had not acted unlawfully.

Source: Cruelty Free International/Youtube

Mr Justice Linden ruled in favor of the government, stating that the Home Office and the public had no “legitimate expectation” to be informed about a change in policy position. The judge acknowledged that the lack of public announcement of the change was “regrettable” and that “inaccurate” operational guidance was available online.

The legal dispute mainly revolved around the Home Office’s understanding of EU legislation concerning cosmetics and their safety. Mr Justice Linden clarified that cosmetic regulations aim to protect consumer safety and ban animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients. Additionally, the marketing of products or ingredients tested on animals is prohibited.

However, separate regulations for evaluating chemicals, including those used in cosmetics, are more permissive, focusing on broader human and environmental safety. These regulations allow animal testing only as a “last resort” to meet requirements such as assessing risks to manufacturing workers.

The Home Office’s policy is that animal testing is lawful in the UK and not in conflict with bans in “limited circumstances” when there are “no other alternative ways” to meet the requirements of the chemical-related regulations.

The judge concluded that the government modified its policy for “pragmatic reasons” rather than legal requirements. Although the change was “not fully documented or widely communicated,” there was no breach of public law duty to notify CFI or the public.

CFI chief executive Michelle Thew expressed disappointment in the ruling and claimed that the Home Office prioritized contract-testing companies’ interests over animal welfare and public opinion. CFI plans to appeal the judgment.

A Home Office spokesperson reiterated that testing cosmetic products or their ingredients on animals remains unlawful, as is the marketing of cosmetic products or ingredients tested on animals.

Tiny Rescue Animal Collection

Not Your Tee By Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!