Breaking: End Animal Testing European Citizens’ Initiative Validated With Over 1.2 Million Signatures
Brussels – Signed, sealed, and delivered! The End Animal Testing European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has smashed the requirement of gathering 1 million validated signatures – reaching over 1.2 million statements of support from European citizens. The citizens of Ireland have ensured this country is officially included by submitting 11,211 signatures, verified by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
The campaign in Ireland has been spearheaded by the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS), as part of a Europe-wide anti-cruelty coalition.
The European Commission is now required to meet with campaigners and consider drafting new laws to address citizens’ concerns. As over 10 million animals suffer in experiments in the EU every year – including over 121,000 in Ireland – and new non-animal technologies are being developed faster than ever before, the time for change is now.
“We are incredibly proud of this collaborative landmark. The people of Ireland have made the task for the European Commission clear: it must come forward with substantive legislative proposals to phase out animal experiments and end the suffering of millions of animals in laboratories in Europe. The Government of Ireland should also take note. We demand change in testing and research. It is high time for Europe to evolve past cruel and outdated animal testing,” says Jenn Scannell, the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society.
“Ireland is at the very centre of the global pharmaceutical industry, with many of the world’s largest companies based in places like Dublin and Cork. Irish people have made it loud and clear that they don’t want animal testing to have any role in it. Now it is finally time for the EU to act,” says Grace O’Sullivan, MEP, Green Party Ireland/European Free Alliance.
“This European citizens’ initiative powerfully backs up the demand of the European Parliament to phase out animal testing for good. With the voice of the citizens added to the chorus, the Commission cannot ignore the loud calls to accelerate the transition to non-animal science,” says Tilly Metz, MEP, Greens–European Free Alliance.
“The message from citizens has never been clearer or more aligned with the voices of scientists, industry, NGOs, and politicians. Everyone understands that a plan to phase out animal experiments is a win-win situation for humans, other animals, and the environment. Now, the Commission should listen to citizens and finally make it happen,” says Anja Hazekamp, MEP, the Left.
“European citizens have been asking for cruelty-free cosmetics for a long time. This European citizens’ initiative is another reminder to the Commission that EU citizens will not stand by while loopholes in legislation are not closed to end all animal tests on cosmetics,” says Niels Fuglsang, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
The ECI’s three critical asks call for robust implementation of the EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics ingredients, a full transition to non-animal methods for chemical safety tests, and committing to a plan to phase out all experiments on animals.
The ECI was launched in August 2021 by Cruelty Free Europe, Eurogroup for Animals, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (which includes the IAVS), Humane Society International/Europe, and PETA, with the support of global beauty and personal care companies The Body Shop and Dove. It has since been actively promoted by companies such as Lush and a coalition of groups and campaigners from every corner of Europe. Hundreds of celebrities also supported the campaign, including Irish actors Victoria Smurfit and Emmett J Scanlan, Sir Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais and Finnish heavy metal band Lordi.
No other ECI has ever received this level of support across so many different countries. To be successful, an ECI has to collect at least 1 million validated signatures and has to meet a minimum target across at least seven different EU countries. This ECI passed the minimum target in 22 different countries, demonstrating pan-European support for ending animal testing.
Note to Editors:
• The End Animal Testing European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has brought together a network of NGOs and multinational companies across Europe. This is the first time in history that this number of European organisations has come together to help animals in laboratories.
• Following submission and internal checks by the Commission, the number of validated signatures per country will be updated and shown here.
• After receiving the validated signatures, Commission representatives will meet with ECI organisers so they can explain in detail the issues raised in their initiative. The initiative will also receive a public hearing in the European Parliament before the Commission formally responds.
• For more information on European Citizens’ Initiatives, see the ECI Factsheet on the European Parliament website.