Politics: Coalition fights animal tests law

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection has formed a coalition with MPs and high-street retailers to try to prevent the European Union from reintroducing cosmetic testing on animals.

A proposed EU law on the Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals, known as Reach, threatens to bring back cosmetic animal tests if it is passed in its current form, the coalition has warned. It is urging MEPs and member states to amend the law, first mooted in 2001, before it is passed in Brussels next month.

Coalition members, who include Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe and Liberal Democrat MP Annette Brooke, say this will undermine domestic legislation.

The UK stopped licensing cosmetic testing on animals in 1998.

"Testing cosmetics on animals belongs in the past, and we thought we'd seen the back of it," said Brooke. "But the EU's proposals may be about to force companies to test what goes into their cosmetics on animals."

The coalition also has the backing of large high-street retailers such as Body Shop, Boots and Marks & Spencer.

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