Animal Testing


Last updated: November 2015



In the 1980s, animal experimentation became a 'hot topic' as cosmetics companies that tested their products on animals came under intense pressure from campaigners.

Thankfully due to work of a number of organisations animal testing for cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients was eventually banned in this country.

Sadly despite significant steps forward the testing of products and ingredients on animals continues abroad. In fact, according to figures from 2010, the use of animal testing is actually increasing.


What products are tested on animals?

As well as cosmetics animal testing is also used in the development of household products, medicines, pet food and fertilisers and pesticides.


How do I know something is free from animal testing?

The fact that a company says “we do not test on animals” is not guarantee.

Spotting a product which is completely free from animal testing requires careful examination of the wording in a company’s animal testing policy.

Under our ratings system, we mark down companies which have an inadequate policy on animal testing, as well as those carrying out the test. This means that we identify companies who might not conduct the tests themselves but who use ingredients tested on animals in their products.

The ratings which appear in our buyers’ guides reflect the practices of the whole company group, so if a company tests just one of it’s products on animals, the whole company will receive a negative animal testing mark.

So if you’re against animal testing, check our buyers’ guides before you go shopping, whether for moisturiser or a garden trowel, to reveal the companies with unlikely links to this cruel practice.


Lush Prize Fund

Joint campaign to fight animal testing

The Lush Prize is a collaboration between Ethical Consumer and Lush Cosmetics: a £250,000 annual fund to reward gorups working in a field of cruelty-free scientific research.

Read More


Ethical Rating: Animals 

animal ratings

Our research on animals is divided into three main areas:

Animal Testing
Factory Farming
Animal Rights & Cruelty

Learn more




Ethical made easy

Detailed ethical ratings for over 40,000 companies, brands and products, plus Ethical Consumer magazine.

30 day trial subscription - find out more