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Rabbit - Avon animal tests cosmetics for ChinaUncaged inspires major investors to act on our Avon animal testing revelations

Uncaged's pioneering work to tackle animal cruelty has had dramatic knock-on effects by influencing multi-million pound institutional investors. The Co-operative Asset Management has led the way with its announcement of the sale of its entire holding of Avon shares following Uncaged’s exposé of animal poison tests conducted by Avon for the marketing of their cosmetics products.

The Co-op is one of the major investors who had previously invested in Avon on the basis of their that they did not test their cosmetics on animals. However, Uncaged, one of the UK's leading experts on animal experimentation, have complained for several years that Avon’s prominent public statements were misleading and that, in fact, other less-accessible Avon statements actually admitted that the company tested on animals.

Investors have now been alerted to the truth about Avon's animal testing following a successful complaint earlier this year by Uncaged to the Advertising Standards Authority in protest at this following deceptive statement on Avon's UK website:

'Avon does not test products or ingredients on animals, nor do we request others to do so on our behalf.'

Avon did not contest our complaint and pledged to withdraw the statement. This effectively confirmed their animal testing practices.

Avon have previously explained that their refusal to stop animal testing is due to their desire to be able to incorporate new chemicals into their products, as they believe innovation will maximise their profits. It has also emerged that Avon products are tested on animals in order to be sold in China.

Following discussions with Uncaged, the Co-op have now stated in their Responsible Investment Annual Report for 2011-12:

'Previously, we had singled out Avon for inclusion in our sustainable funds.... During the initial analysis of the company prior to investment we took great comfort from Avon's statement that it was the first major cosmetic company in the world to end animal testing. However, our attention was recently drawn to an updated statement on animal testing on Avon's website which seemed to contradict their longstanding claims. We highlighted to Avon our concern. We did not receive a response and have subsequently divested.' (p42)

Dr Dan Lyons, Uncaged Campaigns Director, comments:

'We applaud the Co-op for withdrawing their investment from Avon after we demonstrated that their ethical reputation is false. Investors have a major role to play in tackling gross corporate misconduct, and we are pleased that other investment funds are downgrading Avon's 'ethical status' in light of our work. The vast majority of people are against this form of gratuitous cruelty to animals, and it's heartening that financial institutions are now sharpening their analysis of Avon and others' moral probity. Now Avon will come under greater pressure to really stop animal testing rather than merely pretending to.'

Uncaged Campaigns 17.09.12


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.