lush prize 2024

UK’s Animal Aid win £50,000 Public Awareness award for calling for better science and an end to lethal dose animal tests

On 21st May 2024, UK based campaign group Animal Aid received the prestigious Lush Prize award for Public Awareness (£50,000)  for their campaign to ban lethal dose animal tests on stage in London. The Lush Prize (£250,000 prize fund) is the biggest prize in the non-animal testing sector. 

It is estimated that more than 100 million animals worldwide are still used in laboratory experiments every year. Alongside this shocking fact, another one is that 41% of UK consumers have never heard of or know what cruelty-free means (Beauty, Personal Care and Household report, Mintel, 2023). 

‘Time for better science’ is the message from Animal Aid, who launched their major campaign calling for the replacement of outdated and cruel ‘lethal dose’ tests, with the more reliable modern test method which now exists. Lethal dose tests involve giving groups of animals increasing doses of a substance until half are dead. Developed in 1927 the ‘Lethal Dose 50%’ tests (LD50) are cruel, scientifically irrelevant, but sadly still used today. 

At the centre of the campaign Animal Aid’s petition called on the government, industry regulators, pharmaceutical and chemical companies to show their support for better science by pledging to immediately end the unreliable LD50 tests. Animal Aid’s petition against Lethal Dose animal tests has now been handed in to the Government and sent to laboratories who may be conducting lethal dose animal tests.

“Animals deserve better, as do humans and the environment – in the 21st century we should be using 21st century science, not something from the dark ages. We KNOW better and should DO better.

The more and the louder we shout, the more people will hear about these tests and fight to end them. Each name added to our petition, each interaction on social media and phone call to our office shows us that people are hearing our message.”

Jessamy Korotoga, Animal Aid

A new test method, called AcutoX, was part-funded by Animal Aid and developed by a British laboratory, XCellR8. AcutoX launched recently in the US and is ready for client companies to use. The LD50 test, which is still currently in use, was developed nearly 100 years ago and involves giving increasing doses of toxic substances to groups of animals, usually mice, until 50% of them are killed. This is then the ‘Lethal Dose 50%’ for that substance. The LD50 does not produce accurate or precise data that is relevant to humans: Species differences are one of the reasons why animal experiments do not provide data which is reliably translated to humans. Instead of using animals to try to determine what is poisonous to humans, AcutoX exposes ethically sourced, human skin cells to increasing doses of a test chemical, to learn how damaged the cells are. The more damaged the cells, the more toxic the chemical.

In addition, Animal Aid held a reception for MPs at the House of Commons and also commissioned an opinion poll about Lethal Dose animal tests and other animal experiments, highlighting the results to the public, MPs and laboratories. With the general election coming up in the UK, Animal Aid have recently urged their supporters to contact their MP about these and other tests and to support their ‘asks to: 

Divert existing funding, resources and expertise away from animal experiments and use these to significantly increase the development and promotion of non-animal methodologies.

Support a timetabled roadmap to urgently end all animal experiments, starting with an immediate ban on all research which is not legally required or where non-animal methodologies already exist.

Animal Aid announced they will be engaging with policy makers, civil servants and the public to push for real, tangible change, an end to these experiments.

Jessamy Korotoga from Animal Aid advises how people can take action:

“Please visit our website if you are in the UK and contact your MP. If you don’t live in the UK, please find out about lethal dose animal tests and others in your country and start to campaign against them. Join a group, join with friends, but above all, speak out. In the words of Margaret Mead:  ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”

The Lush Prize awards evening also saw prizes worth a total of £250,000 handed out to other campaigners, scientists and young researchers from around the world who are helping to bring about an animal-test free future, including the Science Award for a huge study showing liver-on-a-chip is better at predicting safe chemicals than animal tests.  A full list of winners appears on the Lush Prize website.

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Lush Prize is a collaboration between the campaigning cosmetics company Lush and the campaigning research group Ethical Consumer.

The £250,000 prize fund is the biggest prize in the non-animal testing sector, and is the only award to focus solely on the complete replacement of animal tests.  It has been rewarding excellence in the field since 2012.

More details of this year’s prize can be found on the website at

The Five Prize categories are ( – 

-Public Awareness: public awareness-raising of on going testing

-Science: for the development of replacement non-animal tests

-Training: training researchers in non-animal tests

-Lobbying: policy interventions to promote the use of replacements

-Young Researcher: to five researchers under 35 years old specialising in animal replacement research

New, non-financial recognition prizes introduced this year: 

-Major Science Collaboration: For international collaborations looking to develop non-animal techniques or approaches more widely and in the longer term.

-Political Achievement: For elected political officials at any level, who have made a major contribution towards the ending or replacement of animal research and testing.

This year also saw the Andrew Tyler lifetime achievement award presented to Liz White, from Animal Alliance of Canada.  Liz has been a leader and stalwart of the Canadian animal rights movement for decades and a champion in the area of animal free research and testing, among many others.

About Lush: Lush is a campaigning manufacturer and retailer of fresh handmade cosmetics with shops in 50 countries. The Lush Prize is one element in a broader campaign called ‘Fighting Animal Testing’.

About Ethical Consumer: Ethical Consumer Research Association is a not-for-profit research co-operative specialising in independent research into social, animal welfare and environmental issues.  

About Animal Aid: Animal Aid, based in Tonbridge, is a national campaign group founded in 1977. Their campaign areas include animal experiments, farming, horse racing, shooting, wildlife persecution and vegan outreach.

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