Every year millions of animals die at the hands of cosmetic companies to test their products. The FDA does not require animal testing on cosmetics and there are many other alternative testing methods available. These are actually more reliable and less expensive, but many companies still choose to practice animal testing.
One common animal test is to measure the levels of eye tissue damage, toxicity and skin irritation caused by the various chemicals in the product. This involves the animal being restrained while having the chemical applied directly in their eye or on a shaved patch of skin. Not given any pain relief, this is extremely painful for animals, and rabbits sometimes break their necks or backs trying to escape the restraints.
Another common test is the Lethal Dosage test. This is accomplished by force feeding the animal large amounts of a substance to find out what dosage causes death. Before death animals usually experience vomiting, convulsions, paralysis or bleeding from the eyes, nose or mouth.
When performing these and other tests, no painkillers are given. These animals suffer the results unaided. If they do not die from the tests they are killed by neck breaking, decapitation, or asphyxiation.
There are many animal free tests. One example is that human blood from volunteers can be used to test for fever-causing contaminants in medicines. Using this method saves thousands of rabbits each year from the normal "pyrogen" tests.
Another example is the use of EpiSkin™, EpiDerm™ and SkinEthic. These are artificial human skin that can be used in skin irritation and corrosion tests.
The Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability Test uses eyes left over from slaughterhouse animals for the meat industry. This method prevents the need of exposing harmful chemicals to conscious rabbit's eyes.
There are several things you can do to help save the future suffering and lives of thousands of animals. First, you can stop buying products that have been tested on animals and only buy from companies that don't use animal testing. Second, you can sign the Petition to ban cosmetic company testing on animals all together. Europe and Israel have already successfully saved their animals from testing, now it's our turn.