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Testing Household Products on Animals

Volume 594: debated on Thursday 12 March 2015

On 18 July 2011, Official Report, column 84WS, I announced plans to implement the Government’s commitment to end the testing of household products in animals using licensing powers provided by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Since that time, the Government have consulted on the impact of such a ban and we have undertaken to give consideration to the inclusion of ingredients of household products.

I can today announce the Government’s intention to ban the testing of household products in animals with a qualified ban on the testing of ingredients which are primarily intended for use in household products. Where testing of ingredients is required for regulatory purposes, we will permit this but require retrospective notification. Where such testing is not required for regulatory purposes, we will require a prospective authorisation, specific to the particular proposal. We will apply a robust harm-benefit analysis to any such applications which we expect to be few.

In order to minimise the regulatory burden of this policy on businesses, I intend to implement this ban through amending conditions on existing project licences. For the avoidance of any doubt, I intend to adopt the following definition for licensing purposes:

“Household products are those bought by the general public for use in the domestic home and garden. They include, but are not limited to, detergents, polishes and cleaning products, laundry products, household cleaners, air fresheners, toilet cleaners, descalants, deodorisers, adhesives, paints and varnishes, sealants, caulks and other decorating materials.

This definition does not apply to:

Biocides, pesticides and plant protection products;

Food contact materials, food and feeding stuffs, medical products and medical devices;

Cosmetics (as they are subject to other restrictions on the use of animal testing);

Products intended to be used in an industrial or institutional setting or by professionals; and

ackaging or delivery systems e.g. pump sprays etc., unless these are inherent parts of the household product.”

I also intend to adopt the definition of an “ingredient” in accordance with article 3 of Regulation (EC 1907/2006) on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH) as amended and article 2 of European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP).

The policy will apply to any ingredient for which, at the time that testing in animals is carried out, more than 50% is intended or expected by the entity commissioning the testing to be used in a household product.

I intend to fully implement this ban from 1 October 2015. This will give those most affected time to adjust to the new notification system and authorisation process.