Animals in Science

Product Testing Laws

Public outrage has led to the creation of laws to reduce or eliminate the use of animals to test cosmetic, personal care, and household products.

In 2000, California became the first state to pass a law limiting the use of animals in product testing. Specifically, it made it unlawful for a manufacturer or contract testing facility to use animals when an appropriate, non-animal, alternative test method has been validated for use by the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). Read California’s law (Section 1834.9).

In 2007 and 2008 respectively, New Jersey and New York became the second and third states to pass such legislation. Other states have considered similar legislation on the topic, including Arizona.

Click here for more information on product testing laws in the United States.

While the United States has been slow to mandate the use of non-animal alternatives in the product testing industry, countries abroad have seen much more progress on this issue. The United Kingdom stopped licensing animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in 1998. A small number of other European countries such as Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany have passed cosmetic testing bans. In 2007, Israel passed a law banning the use of animals for testing cosmetic and cleaning products.

In 2004, the European Union (EU) passed the Seventh Amendment of the Cosmetics Directive that sets a series of deadlines for animal testing bans and bans on the sale of cosmetics containing animal tested ingredients. Most of these deadlines are tied to the availability of non-animal testing methods. This legislation will have an enormous impact on the cosmetics industry, both in the EU and abroad, as the law sets specific deadlines – not just for the production, but also for the sale of, products that have been tested on animals or contain animal-tested ingredients.


Seventh Amendment of the Cosmetics Directive – Animal Testing Deadlines in Europe

September 11, 2004

  • Ban on animal testing of finished cosmetic products in the EU.
  • Ban on the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals outside of the EU where validated alternative tests exist.

March 11, 2009

  • Ban on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients or formulations in the EU.
  • Ban on the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals for all but a few test areas.

March 11, 2013

  • Ban on the sale of cosmetic products or ingredients tested on animals for the remaining test areas.
  • The ban could be delayed by new legislation if non-animal tests have not been made available.

In an effort to protect human health and the environment, the EU also passed legislation in 2006 that requires the safety testing of nearly 30,000 chemicals. This legislation, Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), requires the generation of safety data for all chemical substances produced or imported into the EU in certain amounts. Because of the concerns raised by animal advocates, REACH was amended prior to final passage both to promote the use of currently available non-animal alternative test methods and to encourage the development of new alternatives.