LAV launches campaign agst botox testing on animals

Italy's Anti-Vivisection League (LAV) on Monday called for a stop to animal testing of anti-aging products such as botox, which it says continues to be practiced in spite of a 2013 EU directive banning animal testing for cosmetic purposes.

The animal rights group, which is the Italy representative of the European Anti-Vivisection League, launched a week-long international protest against an industrial practice it says kills 90,000 animals a year.

"Botox, which is common in many products to fight wrinkles and other signs of aging skin, continues to be tested in spite of (the EU directive)," LAV said in a statement.

"Pharmaceutical companies such as German firm Merz, Britain's Ipsen and Japan's Eisai - which have a number of subsidiaries around the world including Italy - kill thousands of animals a year by circumventing the directive due to the fact that the toxin is injected and not rubbed into the skin, which is how cosmetics are defined".

"Consumers, scientists and institutions must be made aware of how unacceptable it is for thousands of mice to continue suffering and dying for a widespread cosmetic product, especially in view of the fact that an alternative method is available," said biologist Michela Kuan, who is in charge of LAV animal-free research.

"We need authorities and the firms to immediately commit to putting a stop to these cruel experiments on animals. Real beauty lies in halting this horror," said Kuan.