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November 17, 2011

Happy Anniversary for Bunnies and Other Animals

This month, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, which manages the invaluable Leaping Bunny Program, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. The HSUS and our affiliate the Doris Day Animal League were founding members of the CCIC, so we’re celebrating too. The Leaping Bunny certification is considered the gold standard for cruelty-free companies producing cosmetic, personal care, and household products.

Led by the Doris Day Animal League, the coalition came about in 1996 because many corporations made “cruelty-free” claims without any verification. The result was a sea of bunny logos and misleading information for consumers. The Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals came out of it, and it’s a program that requires that companies using the logo remove animal testing from all stages of product development. The company's ingredient suppliers make the same commitment, and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All companies must be open to independent audits.

Leaping Bunny 15th anniversary
Take the cruelty-free pledge.

To date, there are almost 400 Leaping Bunny-certified companies, including Method, Seventh Generation, Urban Decay, Tom’s of Maine, and The Body Shop. Each year, nearly a quarter of a million Compassionate Shopping Guides are distributed.

Sixty percent of people asked in a recent survey said they were more likely to buy a product that has not been tested on animals, whereas only 11 percent would be less likely to buy it. Moreover, consumers are more than three times as likely to trust an independent third party, like the Leaping Bunny Program, than a company’s own claims about its animal testing policy.

In Europe, our affiliate Humane Society International is in the forefront of the campaign to preserve a promised ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals, which will force companies either to kick their animal testing habit or have their products pulled off the shelves in the world’s largest cosmetics market.

We’re also actively engaging with government regulators in emerging markets such as Brazil and China, which continue to require extensive cosmetics animal testing by law. Yet even in the United States, no law exists to prevent the use of animals in safety testing of cosmetics and household products. Testing these chemicals on rabbits, mice, and other animals often causes them extreme pain and suffering, and there should be a law to mandate the use of validated alternatives.

You can help by taking the Pledge to Go Cruelty-Free. Let’s show companies that still engage in product testing on animals that consumers like you won’t support such practices.

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