Cosmetics and toiletries are still tested on animals in over 80% of countries. The BUAV recently launched Cruelty Free International, the first ever global organization with a mission to end the use of product testing on animals worldwide. You can support this campaign by ensuring you buy only products that have been certified as 100% cruelty free (this means both the ingredients and the finished product have not been tested on animals) from the list on www.gocrueltyfree.org. Be sure to check regularly though - a couple of brands, including L'Occitane, were recently stripped of their cruelty free status due to testing their products on animals in order to sell them in China, where animal testing is required by law. If your favourite brand is not on the cruelty free list, why not ask them to join the Humane Cosmetics Standard? A letter template is available on the Cruelty Free International website.
If you live in the EU, make sure you sign the petition to encourage a full ban on animal tested cosmetics on nocruelcosmetics.org. The European Union was due to implement a ban by 2013, but this could now be delayed by up to 10 years, which could mean 10 more years of unnecessary suffering!
The BUAV's other campaign, Save Our Monkeys, highlights the shocking use of primates in medical research. As many as 10,000 monkeys are exported from Mauritius each year to laboratories in the USA and Europe. Wild monkeys are torn from their natural habitat, imprisioned and made to produce babies who are then taken from them and transported as cargo on airlines. Primates are subjected to experiments that can cause them substantial pain, discomfort and suffering, and most will be killed afterwards. Sign up to the campaign to help stop this cruel trade now.