Home Office can reinstate policy ban on animal testing for cosmetics, High Court judge rules

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  6th May 2023

Vegan Food & Living may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only ever share brands that we love and trust.

Animal testing for cosmetics is seen as unacceptable by the vast majority - around 85% - of British people, according to various polls


The government is facing calls to reinstate the 1998 ban on animal testing for cosmetics, which was secretly abandoned by the Home Office in 2019.

In a 2021 letter sent to animal protection NGO Cruelty Free International, the Home Office admitted that it now allows animal testing for cosmetics in the UK.

Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, argued in court that she was bound by a law originating in the EU to authorise such testing.

The Home Office had told Cruelty Free International in an earlier judicial review that the policy was still in place and gave no hint that it had abandoned it until forced to reply to a legal letter.

Now a ruling by High Court judge Mr Justice Linden in the Judicial Review of the Home Office’s policy on animal testing in the UK brought by Cruelty Free International allows Suella Braverman MP, to reinstate the policy.

Judicial review

In the present Judicial Review, Mr Justice Linden stopped short of saying the way the Home Office had conducted itself was unlawful, but he was critical, describing its conduct as ‘less than transparent’.

While he agreed with the Home Office’s interpretation of the legislation, he said the UK could still have a policy prohibiting cosmetics testing on animals.

Now, Cruelty Free International is seeking permission to ‘appeal to the Court of Appeal against the judge’s ruling that the Home Secretary’s abandonment of the cosmetics policy in secret, without telling Parliament or the public, was lawful’.

It will also appeal against the judge’s interpretation of the EU legislation.


Most Brits are against animal testing

The majority of the British people, some 85 per cent according to a YouGov poll carried out in autumn 2021, find it unacceptable to test cosmetics ingredients on animals. These poll results reflect numerous others.

In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Cruelty Free International Chief Executive, Michelle Thew, said: “It is outrageous that the Government has abandoned the ban on using animals in cosmetics testing, and did so in secret while giving the impression that the policy remained in place. 

“Documents the Home Office was forced to disclose in the case show clearly that it was prioritising the interests of contract-testing companies over those of animals and the wishes of the vast majority of British people who are strongly opposed to cosmetics testing. 

“Now that the High Court has said it can do so, we call on the Government immediately to reinstate the policy ban.”

Where do you stand when it comes to animal testing? Find out the truth behind the lab doors

Featured Image © ARTFULLY-79 via Adobe Stock

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

We use cookies to give you a better experience on veganfoodandliving.com. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it