The following are general explanations of the animal- and earth-friendly designations on health and beauty aids.
It is important to know that labels that read “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals” may not always mean what we think. No government agency currently defines these terms, nor sets standards for their usage, so each company can determine what its “cruelty-free” label means:
- Cruelty free. Ingredients and final product are not tested on animals.
- Not tested on animals. Final product is not tested on animals.
- Vegetarian or Vegan. Product does not contain animal-derived ingredients and was not tested on animals.
The only way to be 100% sure that the product is truly cruelty free is to look for the following icons:
The first, the “Leaping Bunny,” is the symbol of the international no-animal-testing certification, issued for use by companies on cosmetic, toiletry and cleaning products which comply with the Humane Standards. The trademark licence is owned by the BUAV, founder of Cruelty Free International, the global organisation dedicated to ending animal testing for cosmetics and other consumer products worldwide.
The certification endorses companies that use cosmetic or household ingredients which are not tested on animals by their laboratories or suppliers after a fixed cut-off date. While many companies claim that their products are not tested on animals, there is currently no legislation in place to test these claims. The Leaping Bunny certification demands an independent audit of certified companies to ensure they remain compliant with the Humane Standards.