Humane Society International and H&M Collaborate on New Animal Welfare Commitments to Protect Farm Animals & Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing Globally

Making the ethical treatment of animals a priority in the fashion industry

LONDON (8 Sept. 2015) – Global animal protection leader Humane Society International and fashion company H&M have worked together to develop ambitious new animal welfare pledges. Central to this collaboration is a commitment to pursue policy change in countries around the world, such as national legislative bans on animal testing of cosmetics, as well as the cruel practices within wool and down production.

Cosmetics Animal Testing
HSI works through the #BeCrueltyFree campaign to help achieve an end to all animal testing within the global beauty industry. Globally, #BeCrueltyFree has numerous test ban victories already under its belt. H&M will actively support the #BeCrueltyFree campaign through consumer advocacy, dialogue with key stakeholders, and supporting training and education programmes.

Troy Seidle, director of HSI’s research & toxicology department, said: “H&M must be commended for committing itself to our #BeCrueltyFree campaign’s mission of achieving a global end to cosmetics animal testing. As a company that already eschews animal testing of its own cosmetics, H&M is now sending a strong message industry-wide that more needs to be done to end the suffering of animals in cosmetics tests. We are extremely excited to be embarking on this collaboration with such an influential industry partner.”

Farm Animal Welfare
HSI and H&M will also work to ensure the welfare of animals from which wool, hair or down is derived. The work will include participation in the development of global wool and down standards and other auditing programs. HSI and H&M will collaborate on opportunities to pursue industry-wide policy change such as national legislative bans on mulesing, live-plucking and force-feeding.

Chetana Mirle, director of HSI’s farm animals department, said: “Within the fashion industry, the hidden suffering of animals used in the production of wool, down, and leather is too often ignored. H&M is demonstrating great leadership by expanding its existing animal welfare commitments, and supporting the development of certification and educational programs that will actively improve the welfare of animals such as sheep, goats, geese and ducks in the industry as a whole. We are particularly looking forward to working together to eliminate cruel farming practices such as mulesing from the fashion industry, which would be an immense animal welfare achievement.”

Madelene Ericsson, Sustainability Business Expert at H&M said: “Animal welfare is important to us at H&M and we want to contribute to improved animal welfare practices in our industry, which is why we are committing ourselves not only to further improve our own requirements, but also to work collaboratively with HSI to elevate standards throughout the industry and globally. HSI is a globally recognized organization with long experience within this area we believe they will be a very good partner in pushing for change and we hope that other companies will be inspired to do likewise.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Facts:

  • Cosmetics animal testing is legal in around 80 per cent of countries worldwide, consuming as many as 100,000 animals annually
  • Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are the most common animals used to test cosmetics, subjected to having cosmetic chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their shaved skin, or force fed to them orally in massive, often lethal doses
  • There are more than 500 beauty brands certified cruelty-free globally
  • In 2012 the global in vitro (non animal) toxicity testing market was valued at more than $4.9 billion, set to rise to nearly $9.9 billion by 2017
  • The #BeCrueltyFree campaign was launched in 2012, and cosmetics animal testing and/or trade bans are now in place throughout the European Union, Israel, Norway, India, and New Zealand, with similar legislative measures under development in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Taiwan and the United States, and removal of some animal testing in South Korea and China. 
  • Mulesing is practiced in regions of the world where flystrike (caused by the sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprinais) is common, primarily in Australia
  • Most mulesed sheep are the wrinkly skinned, Merino breed
  • The largest producers and exporters of down and feathers include China, Taiwan, Thailand and Hungary
  • Feathers are live plucked from geese in breeding operations three times, at 6-7 week intervals.
  • The majority of the world’s foie gras is made from the force-feeding of ducks
  • 75-80 percent of foie gras is produced in France

Media contact:

Humane Society International: Wendy Higgins, Communications Director: 44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org 

H&M: Media relations mediarelations@hm.com

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree 

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About Us

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Our key campaigns include Kill the Cull opposing England's badger cull; Be Cruelty-Free to end animal testing of cosmetics; CITES and wildlife protection; Love Spain Hate Bullfighting. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org Be Cruelty-Free is the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally HSI is leading the charge to end cosmetics cruelty in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and Be Cruelty-Free USA is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States. On the web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree