Prominent MPs back end to animal testing in UK ahead of general election

Last week, over 60 MPs and peers expressed interest in ending animal testing in the UK and investing in human-relevant science and methodologies. 40 MPs met with Lush spokespeople and guests at a Parliamentary reception, pledging commitments to back LUSH’s decades long campaign to end animal testing in the UK.  A further 20 have requested to meet their Lush representatives in their constituencies over the coming weeks. 

During the evening, Lush welcomed collaborative input from Chris Packham, Will Young, Humane Society International, Animal Free Research UK, Animal Aid, Beagle Freedom Project, XCellR8 and professionals and scientists from the Lush Prize, (the largest prize fund in the non-animal testing sector awarding nearly £3 million in its 10 year history). All groups collectively discussed the replacement of animal testing with MPs, industry experts and businesses and how to make Britain a world leader in developing modern effective chemical safety testing.

The evening, sponsored by Carolyn Harris MP & Co-Chair of the Beauty and Wellbeing APPG , set out to reposition the issue in the minds of MPs and get commitments for the replacement of animal testing on manifestos for the 2024 general election. 

Just some of the many MPs backing the campaign include:

  • Steve McCabe – Joined Lush’s line up of keynote speakers
  • Daniel Zeichner, Shadow Minister for Environment and Chair of APPG on Life Sciences
  • Tan Dhesi MP – Shadow Minister for Exports in the Department for Business and Trade  and Vice Chair on Human Relevant Science APPG
  • Anna Firth MP – Member of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation
  • Judith Cummins MP – Co-Chair of Beauty and Wellbeing APPG
  • Caroline Lucas MP – Former leader of the Green Party
MPs pledging to end animal testing for human-relevant science at parliamentary reception

Select quotes from mpS

“I’m here to talk about the really relevant alternatives to animal testing. Its about using science to its best impact and making sure we’re looking at ways in which the science can not only be kinder but can actually be better.”
– Caroline Nokes MP

“I’m really pleased to be here at this reception held by Lush, talking about the alternatives to animal testing, of which there are many. I get many emails from constituents deeply concerned about the harm that this causes to animals and the wider harm that animal testing causes. 
Its really great to see and discuss the alternatives and the potential of them and to talk about the importance of human-relevant science in this field. I look forward to campaigning alongside them.” 
– Alison Thewliss MP

We’ve just heard so much evidence of why animal testing is not just cruel but its totally outdated, we don’t need it. You know that first moment when you realise you don’t have to choose between safety on one hand and cruelty on the other; the way to safety is precisely by animal tests, avoiding the cruelty. 
– Caroline Lucas MP

Having been fighting animal testing since before the brand opened the doors of its first shop, Lush’s Co-Founders are acutely aware that the journey toward a comprehensive ban on animal testing necessitates collective effort, dedication, and investment in scientific alternatives. 

Lush CEO and Co-Founder, Mark Constantine has recently expressed his desire to see an end to animal testing in his lifetime.  Involved in the fight to end the use of animals in safety testing since the 1980s, early in his career Mark, alongside Elizabeth Weir, was one of the biggest suppliers to The Body Shop (under Constantine and Weir).  It was after speaking with Mark in detail about his stand  against animal testing that late former CEO of The Body Shop, Anita Roddick, agreed to adopt a policy to ensure none of their products were tested on animals by any of their suppliers. .  

Mark Constantine with Anita Roddick

In reaction to the Home Office’s u-turn on its ban of animal testing for ingredients within makeup in May 2023, Lush Director Karl Bygrave was not surprised, saying “as long as animal testing exists it will continue to creep its way back into cosmetics. So it’s my opinion that a wider ban is needed.” 

It’s down to governments to be bold enough to enforce a ban on animal testing, to redirect resources towards the better, human-relevant science. This will force an industry change to happen, as Karl explains below with cosmetics as a case study, where he has seen this work and in action. 

Steve McCabe, who led a parliamentary debate earlier this year on replacing animal testing with AI and newer technologies, spoke on stage about his discovery of how ineffective animal testing is, how wastefully expensive and how animals are not comparable to humans for effective testing:

Founder of XCellR8 and recipient of the Lush Prize in 2013, Dr Carol Treasure spoke about the scientific advancements in human relevant methods versus the 100+ year old animal tests still being used, primarily highlighting the economic benefits of creating future proof jobs in non-animal testing research:

With a general election coming up next year, Lush welcomes the opportunity for MPs to make sure this is an issue that is in their manifestos and a clear commitment to their constituents that they will work towards finally ending animal testing by funding better science and enacting stronger legislation.

MPs in attendance:

  1. Tan Dhesi MP – Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Vice Chair on Human Relevant Science APPG
  2. Daniel Zeichner MP – Shadow Minister for Environment and Chair of APPG on Life Sciences
  3. Anna Firth MP – Member of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation
  4. Carolyn Harris MP – Chair of the Beauty and Wellbeing APPG
  5. Kirsten Oswald MP – Treasurer of Animal Welfare APPG
  6. Judith Cummins MP – Co-Chair of Beauty and Wellbeing APPG
  7. Dr Lisa Cameron MP – Vice Chair of Dog Advisory Welfare APPG
  8. Kerry McCarthy MP – Vice Chair of Dog Advisory Welfare APPG
  9. Lord and Lady Sharkey – Member of Lords Science and Tech Committee
  10. Stephen Morgan MP – Shadow Rail Minister at the Department for Transport
  11. Steve McCabe MP – MP for Birmingham, Selly Oak
  12. Caroline Lucas MP – MP for Brighton Pavilion 
  13. Julie Elliott MP – MP for Sunderland Central
  14. Wera Hobhouse MP – MP for Bath
  15. Claire Hanna MP – MP for Belfast South
  16. Alison Thewliss MP – Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
  17. Anna McMorrin MP – MP for Cardiff North
  18. Anne McLaughlin MP – Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development)
  19. Abena Oppong Sare – Shadow Minister for Women’s Health and Mental Health
  20. Caroline Nokes MP – MP for Romsey and Southampton North
  21. Colum Eastwood MP – MP for Foyle
  22. Grahame Morris MP – MP for Easington
  23. Jason McCartney MP – MP for Colne Valley
  24. Jess Morden MP – Shadow Minister for Wales
  25. Gill Furniss MP – Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions
  26. Johnathan Lord MP – MP for Woking
  27. Kate Hollern MP – MP for Blackburn
  28. Kevin Brennan MP – Shadow Minister for Victims and Sentencing
  29. Liz Twist MP – MP for Blaydon
  30. Luke Pollard MP – Shadow Minister for Defence
  31. Martin Vickers MP – MP for Cleethorpes
  32. Miriam Davies MP – MP for Penistone and Stockbridge 
  33. Nick Whitley MP – MP for Birkenhead
  34. Peter Dowd MP – MP for Bootle
  35. Rachel Maskell MP – MP for York Central
  36. Rehman Christi MP – MP for Gillingham and Rainham
  37. Sarah Edwards MP – MP for Tamworth
  38. Sir Peter Bottomley MP – MP for Worthing West
  39. Stuart McDonald MP – MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East
  40. Yvonne Fovargue MP – MP for Makerfield
  41. Kim Johnson MP – MP for Liverpool Riverside

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Media assets available here.

For further information and for interview opportunities, please email [email protected] / [email protected] 

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