Today, on World Animal Day, a petition with more than 8 million signatures will be delivered to the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York City urging a worldwide ban against cosmetic animal testing. The petition—one of the largest of its kind in history—supports a call by beauty brand The Body Shop and non-profit organization Cruelty Free International for the UN to formalize an international convention banning animal testing on beauty products globally. Cruelty Free International estimates that more than 500,000 animals each year are used in cosmetic testing, and says the ban serves to advance the agenda of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption. “Five years after the full European Union (EU) bans, the time is right to go one step further,” Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, told VegNews. “That’s why, together with The Body Shop, we are bringing the voices of over 8 million people worldwide with us to the UN in New York to show that people everywhere want to see an end to cosmetics animal testing. A global framework is the best way to eliminate animal suffering, create a level playing field for industry, and build confidence for consumers around the world.” The EU banned all cosmetic animal testing in 2013, California recently passed legislation to prohibit the sale of beauty products tested on animals after January 1, 2020, and Canada is expected to soon follow.

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