Victory: Testing on Animals for Cosmetics Ingredients Ended in the UK

Victory: Testing on Animals for Cosmetics Ingredients Ended in the UK

London – In sharp contrast to the recent EU ruling allowing painful tests on animals for cosmetics to continue, today, the Home Office has confirmed that animal testing for cosmetics is officially over in the UK for all ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics products. Earlier this year, the Home Secretary announced that no new licences for chemicals used in cosmetics tests would be authorised, but behind the scenes, remaining “legacy licences” – permitting cruel and painful tests on sensitive animals – were still active.

The news of the existence of these licences prompted fresh calls for a crackdown on all animal testing in the UK, and this week, Minister of State Tom Tugendhat announced that these licences are no longer valid, stating, “[N]o animal testing is now authorised in Great Britain of chemicals that are exclusively intended to be used as ingredients in cosmetics products.”

“Finally, thousands of rats, rabbits, and fish will be spared agonising suffering and certain death in cruel cosmetics tests,” says PETA Senior Science Policy Manager Dr Julia Baines. “PETA applauds the Home Office for standing by the original ban on animal testing for cosmetics, which was implemented 25 years ago to ensure that only superior non-animal methods would be used to assess the safety of cosmetics.”

PETA – which has long campaigned on this issue – notes that not only has the UK government revealed it won’t allow testing for consumer safety assessment, it also considers that no such testing should be conducted for workers or for environmental safety assessment, making it one of the strongest commitments ever made worldwide by a national authority. The progress in the UK flies in the face of the recent EU court judgement, which revealed that animal testing for cosmetics continues for worker and environmental assessment in the EU and sets the standard for other countries such as Australia, where similar testing ban loopholes remain.

PETA now calls on the government to make this progress permanent through legislative updates and widen the scope to include ingredients used in cosmetics and other types of products such as household cleaners.

For a comprehensive list of cruelty-free brands, we urge consumers to visit the PETA US global Beauty Without Bunnies database of over 6,300 companies and brands, such as Dove, that refuse to test on animals for any reason.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), TikTok, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]