26/10/2018 17:45 BST

‘I Want To Be Cruelty-Free’: Doctor Defends ‘Acid-Proof’ Make-Up Amid Animal Testing Fears

"We have not tested on animals and we do not intend to do so".

Dr Almas Ahmed has defended her invention of 'acid-proof' make-up.

A doctor has defended her invention of “acid-proof” make-up after campaigners warned tests could see animals doused with corrosive substances.

Dr Almas Ahmed, 32, said fears that animals such as rabbits would be used to test the effectiveness of her product were misinformed.

Her invention, named Acarrier, hopes to act like a “second skin”, providing protection against acid, but also other harms such as fire.

Dr Ahmed claimed she was inspired to act after reading about ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Katie Piper’s 2008 acid attack.

She has embarked on a flurry of media interviews in the past week as she seeks an angel investor to bring the product closer to production after several crowd-funding bids failed to generate interest.

But despite the denials over animal testing, activist group PETA UK maintained the prospect of cruel experiments was real.

“There would be an uproar – not to mention legal charges – if a cat or a dog were splashed with acid outside a laboratory, but this could be the reality for animals used in crude and cruel tests to assess the effectiveness of this product,” PETA scientist Emily McIvor told inews on Friday. The charity later said it stood by its statement.

Dr Ahmed’s reassurances over lab experiments represent an about turn for the former junior neurosurgeon, who suggested in an earlier interview that animals would “just get lightly splashed” with acid during future product tests.

She told inews on Wednesday: “The UK’s regulatory system is extremely robust and it will have to go through similar tests here and then on animals.

“We know it works, they will just get lightly splashed.” 

“We know it works, they will just get lightly splashed.”

Defending her product against the furore over animal testing, Dr Ahmed insisted she wanted her invention to “remain cruelty-free”.

“The only testing to have been conducted so far has been computer modelling and chemical testing. We have not tested on animals and we do not intend to do so,” she told HuffPost UK in a phone interview. “For certain medical products in the UK, animal testing may be required... but I don’t believe at this stage that my product falls into this category.

“I’m upset by PETA’s comments and I am very keen to speak with them and work with them to help make sure my product remains cruelty-free. I would love to invite Emily McIvor to our lab and show them the work we’ve done.”

PETA told HuffPost that its science experts would seek to meet with Dr Ahmed.

It said in a statement: “We’re always happy to work with companies developing cruelty free products, and we look forward to working with her in the near future.”