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Major parties unite in call for an end to the use of animals in testing household products

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June 2009

Major parties unite in call for an end to the use of animals in testing household products

The BUAV, the UK’s leading organisation campaigning to end animal experiments, welcomes the announcements made by the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green parties to pledge to include a ban on the testing of household products on animals in their manifestos for the next election. The announcements were made at a BUAV Parliamentary Reception in Westminster on Tuesday 2 June.

The announcements follow a high profile political and public campaign by the BUAV as part of its Clean Up Cruelty campaign. The campaign aims to eliminate the cruel and unnecessary use of animals in the testing of the ingredients for household products such as washing-up liquid, bathroom cleaner, floor polish and air fresheners.

Major high street retailers are increasingly responding to public concern about this issue and signing up to the BUAV’s Humane Household Product Standard (HHPS) – the only internationally recognised scheme that enables consumers to easily identify and purchase household products whose ingredients have not been tested on animals. Already, all household products made by the Co-operative and Marks and Spencer have been approved under the HHPS. This clearly illustrates that it is unnecessary to test on animals to manufacture and sell safe and effective household products.

In 1997 the UK government made a small amendment to policy which instantly saved thousands of animals from suffering in needless cosmetics testing. The Clean up Cruelty campaign aims to do the same for household products.

Ian Cawsey, MP said: "I have been asked by Gordon Brown to look at all aspects of animal welfare policy and I am convinced that the ban we introduced on testing cosmetics on animals can be extended to cover household products. It will be central to my report to the Prime Minister and will be widely supported in the Labour Party to be in our manifesto for the next election."

Andrew Rosindell, MP said: "Animal testing is one of the most significant and controversial areas of the animal welfare debate. It is crucial that, step by step, we make concerted efforts to reduce the numbers of animals used and the number of procedures undertaken.

"Following the successful ban on testing for cosmetic products, we must now look to see where we can extend this further. We are pleased to support the BUAV's Clean up Cruelty campaign and it is the Conservative Party’s view that we are now in a realistic position to ban the use of animals in testing on household products."This is the first step in the Conservative approach to continually reducing animal experimentation, there is still much ground to cover, and we will continue to press the case for greater emphasis on development into alternative methods of testing."

Roger Williams, MP said: "The Liberal Democrats have had a long held belief that it is totally unnecessary to use animals for the testing of household goods and I am happy to support the BUAV’s campaign to ban their use.

"The British are a nation of animal lovers and the Government should reflect that by implementing steps that will lead to the eventual ban of unnecessary testing on animals. This has already happened with cosmetics and I see no reason why similar moves should not be made in the case of household goods."

Caroline Lucas, MEP said: "The Green Party has pledged to continue campaigning to end the cruelty inflicted upon animals in the name of ‘safety’ and it is certainly timely for the progress that has been made with regard to cosmetics testing to be mirrored, and improved upon, with regard to household products.

"The Green Party fully supports BUAV’s campaign for a total ban on all testing of household products and I will be doing my utmost to press for a ban across Europe, as well as in this country."

Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of the BUAV said: "After many years of campaigning on this important issue, the BUAV is delighted to be working in collaboration with the four main political parties to bring an end to the use of animals in the cruel and unnecessary testing of household products."

ENDS

The reception was hosted by Liberal Democrat, Annette Brooke MP (Mid Dorset and Poole)

For more information please contact the BUAV media office 020 7619 6978; after hours, 07850 510 955 or email erin.seymour@buav.org .

For a list of BUAV approved products please visit www.gocrueltyfree.org .

Notes:

(1) The BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) has been campaigning for over 100 years to achieve a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals. We are committed to achieving our aims through reliable and reasoned evidence-based debate.

(2) The BUAV’s Humane Cosmetics and Household Products Standard is recognisable by the Leaping Bunny logo, an internationally recognised and patented cruelty-free certification. Approved companies must open up their supply chain to a robust but straightforward audit. The process ensures that neither the product nor, crucially, any of its ingredients have been tested on animals at any stage of the manufacturing cycle since a fixed cut off date. For more information on the auditing process and a list of approved companies visit www.gocrueltyfree.org

Erin SeymourMarketing & Communications OfficerBritish Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV)

16a Crane Grove

London N7 8NN

Direct: +44 (0) 20 7619 6978

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7700 4888Fax: +44 (0) 20 7700 0252Web: www.buav.org

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