Make-up and cosmetics mean a great deal to me, but there is nothing I love more in life than my adorable dogs. I love animals. I grew up with lots of them, and I can't believe that I live in a country where cosmetics companies are still testing products on animals. Next year, we were supposed to be able to walk into any cosmetics shop in the EU and know that no rabbits or other animals had been harmed in the making of a single product. Most consumers agree that force-feeding chemicals to pregnant rabbits in laboratories is wrong - especially when there are 100 per cent humane non-animal testing methods available. Animals shouldn't suffer for shampoo and lip gloss.
As a European citizen who cares about animals, I'm proud that in 2003, the European Parliament voted to ban animal tests for cosmetics and to end the sale of all cosmetics and toiletries containing ingredients tested on animals. The testing is already banned, and 2013 is the final deadline for the full sales ban.
Although no one now tests on animals for cosmetics in the EU, without a ban on the sale of animal-tested products, companies can simply conduct cruel tests elsewhere and still market them here. That's not right.
If the 2013 deadline is delayed or riddled with loopholes, then animals will continue to be confined to small cages - mice, for example, are forced to live in plastic cages the size of a shoebox - and exposed to chemicals that can cause seizures, chronic pain and weakness as well as liver and kidney failure. Pregnant rats and rabbits will be dosed with potential toxins to determine what malformations appear in their babies. The animals are always killed at the end of these tests - if they survive that long.
Testing cosmetics on animals is wrong - and so is profiting from such testing. Hundreds of companies, including Marks & Spencer, Lush, The Body Shop and many others, test their products for safety without hurting animals. That means there's no excuse for the EU not to go ahead with the ban in 2013, exactly as has been planned for the last 10 years. So hands off the buns, hon. Killing animals for eyeliner and deodorant just isn't nice.
Please always buy cruelty-free products. To learn how you can join me and my friends at PETA in urging the European Commission to uphold the 2013 ban, visit PETA.org.uk/2013