Cosmetics companies which are not Leaping Bunny approved can still test their products or ingredients on animals – as long as they don’t do these tests or sell these products in the European Union.
For example, before some cosmetics products can go on sale in China, they must be tested by the Chinese authorities, which normally involves a range of animal tests.
Companies approved by the Leaping Bunny have not been permitted to sell in China unless direct to consumer until recently. These companies made a big commitment to ethics over profits as China is a fast-growing market which they couldn’t access, unlike companies which weren’t approved by the Leaping Bunny. Now, following a successful pilot programme, Leaping Bunny can also permit domestic manufacture of non-special use cosmetics in China for sale to Chinese consumers, provided Leaping Bunny brands follow specific criteria.
In addition, the Leaping Bunny does not only apply to ingredients solely used in cosmetics, or to consumer safety testing – it applies to any kind of testing, including worker safety and for the environment. We don’t think consumers care what type of label is put on a test, or whether an ingredient happens to have another minor use.
The EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics has been a hugely important step forward, if properly interpreted. But until we achieve a meaningful, global ban on animal testing, the Leaping Bunny continues to be the only guarantee that animals are not still being used to test the cosmetic ingredients in a company’s products. The Leaping Bunny has a really important influence in achieving a global ban.