Inhumane treatment of animals is unacceptable

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 November, 2002, 12:00am

I am concerned about tests on animals in the cosmetics industry.

Many cosmetic products that are sold in Hong Kong were tested on animals before being put on sale. They comprise high-end and low-end products and some are from famous (one might say infamous) brands. Testing on animals is immoral and cruel. For many years, companies carrying out these tests have tried to hide what they are doing. Many customers do not realise the huge price that is paid by so many animals before the product they buy reaches the shops.

The animals used are not treated humanely during or after the tests. The experiments are very cruel. For example, in the draize test, rabbits are restrained so they cannot move and various substances are poured into their eyes. We all know that eyes are very sensitive organs and the draize test causes great pain to the rabbits. Some of them become blind, while others die while the test is being done. Those animals which survive are put down.

All kinds of animals are used, such as monkeys, dogs, cats, mice, chickens, frogs and birds. Animal tests for medical research may sometimes be acceptable. However, animals should not have to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetic products.

Companies may claim they have no choice, as they must ensure the product is safe for humans. I am not a scientist, but I am sure there must be humane ways of undertaking experiments to ensure the product is safe. Many good cosmetic companies provide consumers with safe and cruelty-free products, such as The Body Shop, Aveda, Avon, Clinique and Estee Lauder. Therefore, there is no reason for any company to conduct tests on animals.

As compassionate and responsible consumers, we should boycott all items where testing on animals was part of the production process.


Sha Tin