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Unilever has called for a global ban on animal testing in the cosmetics industry partnering with animal protection group, Humane Society International (HSI). 

Though banned in the EU since 2013, research from Cruelty Free International suggests 115 million animals are still used worldwide for testing purposes with the most common experiments including exposing animals to radiation, forcing them to inhale toxic gases and injecting or feeding them potentially harmful substances. 

With 57 brands under its belt, advocation of a worldwide ban on animal testing from Unilever could mark a monumental shift in the industry, with a spokesperson for the personal care company telling the Independent: “we’ve got over 30 years’ experience in developing non-animal approaches for product safety testing and collaborate with 50 partners across the world.

“We openly share our expertise and approaches and are offering to collaborate with an even broader range of stakeholders. We’re hopeful that if companies, NGOs and governments work together, we’ll soon be able to assess the safety of all cosmetics without any need for animal testing anywhere in the world.” 

HSI vice president for research and toxicology, Troy Seidle, hopes that Unilever’s decision will inspire others and help put an end to animal testing. 

“Every company will tell you it supports alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics, but Unilever is the first of the beauty giants to throw its weight behind banning it all together,” he commented, urging other large beauty brands to “follow this example and join us on the right side of history.”

Earlier this week, Unilever revealed one of its most popular brands Dove had gained cruelty-free status receiving accreditation from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).