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I was glad to have the opportunity this week to participate in a debate calling for a global ban on cosmetic testing on animals.

Cosmetic testing on animals has been banned in the UK since 1998 and there has been a ban on the sale of all testing of cosmetics on animals in the EU since 2013.

We have a long way to go globally. Astonishingly, 80% of countries still allow animal testing and the marketing of cosmetics tested on animals. China has a major cosmetics market that not only allows but requires products to be tested on animals in Government labs before being approved for sale.

We know that a UN treaty would not guarantee a global ban on the testing of cosmetics on animals, but it would be a bold and progressive step in the right direction, and I think the UN and everyone would agree that it really must take that step. That would certainly help considerably in encouraging China and other countries that mandate testing to modernise and to stop blinding, poisoning and killing animals so that we can have lipstick, mascara and blusher.

What is most distressing about this issue is that cosmetic testing on animals is wholly unnecessary yet it causes our fellow creatures huge suffering. Consumers are becoming increasingly ethical when it comes to purchasing power and consumer choice, so, aside from the cruelty aspect, a ban on testing on animals would make sense as a response to consumer demand.

Global action is needed otherwise testing will simply move to countries where there is no ban.

Testing cosmetics on animals is indefensible from an ethical viewpoint—our fellow creatures suffer unnecessarily for our vanity, because of global inaction. There is a better way. It is time for cosmetic testing on animals to stop. The beauty industry needs a makeover, and it is time for global action.

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