Posted by Michelle Thew on 31st December 2015
Thank you for supporting Cruelty Free International and helping animals in 2015!
Your support this year has helped us save animals in laboratories
2015 was a landmark year of transition for us, as we said goodbye to the BUAV and became Cruelty Free International. Despite our change of name, our commitment and vision remain the same: to create a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals.
And with your fantastic support behind us, our new name is already helping us achieve more for animals in laboratories across the world. This year, we’ve made some great strides for animals – successes which will save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Back in January we launched our Vote Cruelty Free campaign urging UK General Election candidates to support animal friendly policies. Each candidate from every major party was sent our message and politicians from across the political spectrum pledged to support our proposals.
March saw the release of a report by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics calling for the ‘de-normalisation’ of animal experiments. The report was commissioned by Cruelty Free International as an independent ethical review. It’s probably the most comprehensive critique of animal experiments ever published. And I’m thrilled it has been backed by over 150 academics, intellectuals and writers world-wide, including Nobel Laureate J. M. Coetzee – helping us put animal testing firmly on the agenda.
In April we announced that Waitrose, one of the UK’s leading supermarkets, had joined over 600 other companies in obtaining Leaping Bunny certification for its own-brand personal care and household products. With your help, we’re making it easier than ever to shop cruelty free!
We’ve been delighted to gain support from a host of new celebrities this year who are helping to spread our cruelty free message. I’m thrilled to welcome on board international superstar violinist Vanessa-Mae as our new Global Ambassador. She has tremendous passion and enthusiasm for helping animals in laboratories and we thank her for taking our message worldwide.
Vanessa was joined on our roster of celebrity supporters by Simon Cowell, whose photo-shoot with acclaimed photographer Rankin for our global dogs campaign launched last month - and appeared on the front cover of the UK Sunday Mail’s Event Magazine. Our important new campaign is raising awareness of the cruel use of dogs in experiments around the world – together we are telling the world that dogs belong in loving homes, not laboratories.
Our global campaign to end the cruel use of animals for testing cosmetics has continued to build momentum in 2015. In April the New Zealand Government agreed to join Europe, India and Israel in banning the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals. Soon after, Bills were introduced in countries across the world, including the USA, Canada, Russia, Korea, Brazil and Argentina.
Significant improvements were also made to legislation in China, which we supported through a major scientific conference in Beijing and a series of public Chinese consultations. It’s clear that the time has come for a global end to cruel cosmetics. And with your help, we’ll keep doing all we can to drive through change for animals in the coming year.
We’ve also been stepping up our work to end the global trade in monkeys for research. We’ve lobbied the Mauritian Government and Minister of Tourism to end the trapping, breeding and export of their macaque monkeys, and the European governments who import these animals, and made significant progress in getting protection for macaques in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
In October, our complaint to the European Ombudsman forced the European Chemicals Agency to reject any animal testing proposal when there is an alternative. This important victory should result in significantly fewer animals being used in cruel chemical tests.
We were also granted permission by the UK High Court to challenge the Government over its decision to allow Bantin & Kingman Ltd (B&K) to breed dogs without providing access to outdoor runs. Our appeal on this work received a terrific response, with thousands of people showing their support and spreading the message. We expect the hearing to take place in 2016.
As the year draws to a close, and we all reflect on what we’ve achieved in 2015, my heart-felt thanks goes to out to you, our supporters. It is only through your constant kindness and generosity that we are able to continue our work for animals in laboratories. Your help is vital, and I hope you will join us as we strive to make a difference for animals in 2016.
On behalf of everyone at Cruelty Free International, I wish you a peaceful holiday and a very happy New Year!