In October 2019 Sainsbury's website was searched by Ethical Consumer for information on the company's animal testing policy.

The following statement was found: "All of our own brand cosmetic and personal care and household cleaning products are approved under the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny programme, the internationally recognisable gold standard for cruelty free products. We adhere to a fixed cut-off date policy and proactively monitor our suppliers to ensure that our products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria. Our supplier monitoring system is also independently audited."

However, Sainsbury's website was found to display a number of other brands that were known to use animal testing including Pfizer healthcare products such as Anadin and Chapstick. It also sold bodycare brands which test in China, even if not in Europe or the USA, such as L'Oreal. The company therefore received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Animal Testing.


Sainsbury's corporate website (22 October 2019)

In October 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed Sainsbury's website. As Sainsbury's sold a number of meat, egg, poultry and dairy products that were not all certified organic and/ or free range, the company lost marks under the Factory Farming and Animal Rights categories.
The company did stated in its December 2019 questionnaire response: "Our most recent welfare announcement was that from April 2020 all eggs sold in store and online will be sourced from free range farms in the UK.".


Sainsbury's website (22 October 2019)

In January 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Sainsbury's website,, and found the company sold own-brand honey. The website was searched for a policy on bee welfare, such as bee mutilation and the killing of drones, colonies or brood to ensure maximum honey yield. Previously the company had produced a Factsheet on Bees and Biodiversity, but this document could no longer be found.
Ethical Consumer felt it necessary for companies selling own brand honey to have a policy ensuring this was not happening in their supply chain.
A questionnaire response received in December 2019 stated, "We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that good beekeeping practices are adhered to, including no-use of antibiotics, foraging of sustainable habitat and the use of organic-only crops for the Organic range.  We can trace all our honey back to the beekeeper who monitors the health of the hives regularly and ensure the honey bees are kept in good health. Sainsbury’s have Code of Practice for Crop Protection for own brand products that advocates the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM): this helps to protect both the crop, the environment and pollinators. IPM means that alternative strategies, such as disease resistant varieties and biological control, should be considered ahead of pesticides. In addition, Sainsbury's also has a Farmed Environment Guidance document (created with The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust) that provides guidance and 'better bets' on a number of areas, including resources for pollinators." It did not cover the concerns listed above.
Therefore the company lost half a mark under Animal Rights.


Questionnaire response (2 January 2020)

In October 2019, Ethical Consumer viewed Argos' website,, and found that the company sold a number of products made from leather.

A Sourcing Policy had previously been found on the Argos website. However, when searched for in October 2019, this website was found to redirect to No evidence of a leather sourcing policy could be found on the Sainsbury's website.

As leather was a slaughterhouse by-product, the company lost half a mark in the Animal Rights category.

It also lost half a mark in the Pollution and Toxics category for the following reason. Leather, as the hide of a dead animal, naturally decomposes. To prevent this decomposition the leather industry uses a cocktail of harmful chemicals to preserve leather, including trivalent chromium sulphate, sodium sulphide, sodium sulfhydrate, arsenic and cyanide. Tannery effluent also contains large amounts of other pollutants, such as protein, hair, salt, lime sludge and acids. These can all pollute the land, air and water supply, making it a highly polluting industry.

Reference: (15 August 2018)