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September 26, 2013

Leona Lewis and Owain Yeoman Photo Campaign Says Bunnies are for Hugging, Not Hurting in Cosmetics Tests

Celebrities support Be Cruelty-Free USA campaign for International Rabbit Day

Humane Society Legislative Fund, Humane Society International

  • Owain Yeoman from CBS's "The Mentalist" with rescue rabbit Nibbles. Susan Weingartner/Susan Weingartner Photography

  • Owain shows his support of our Be Cruelty-Free campaign. Susan Weingartner/Susan Weingartner Photography

  • Singer Leona Lewis sent us this photo of her with her rescue rabbit Melrose. Leona Lewis/The HSUS

“The Mentalist” star Owain Yeoman and Grammy-nominated singer Leona Lewis are showing bunnies some love this International Rabbit Day. They are supporting the Be Cruelty-Free campaign of The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to put an end to animal testing for cosmetics around the world.

The stars are featured in exclusive photos where they can be seen cuddling up to adorable rabbits, one of the most commonly used animals in cosmetics testing. Owain's photo shows the actor sporting a Be Cruelty-Free t-shirt with rescued rabbit Nibbles. Leona donated a photo from her personal collection for a day of global #BeCrueltyFree twitter action. The photo shows the singer with her own rescued bunny Melrose.

Unlike Europe, Israel and India where cosmetics animal testing is banned, the U.S. does not prohibit companies from testing cosmetic products or ingredients on animals. But the HSUS's Be Cruelty-Free USA campaign aims to end such testing.

Take the Be Cruelty Free pledge now!

Yeoman says: “It's the saddest thing to know that rabbits can't cry, which is one of the reasons these gentle creatures are used in painful eye tests for cosmetics. When I think of their unnecessary suffering I could certainly shed a tear, so I'm backing the Be Cruelty-Free campaign to see an end to animal testing in North America and globally. Show the bunnies some love and let's end cosmetics cruelty.”

Lewis said: “Ending animal testing for cosmetics is close to my heart, and so is my bunny Melrose. Melrose is so gentle and loving with such an amazing personality all her own, it breaks my heart to know there are thousands of rabbits who are just as special suffering a terrible fate to test cosmetics. I would never dream of causing Melrose pain, but in laboratories around the world, rabbits and other helpless animals still have chemicals dripped in their eyes or spread over their sensitive skin just to test new lip sticks or shampoo. I want their suffering to stop. I'm proud to be a bunny-hugger for Be Cruelty-Free on International Rabbit Day. Be a bunny-hugger too and let's end cosmetics cruelty!”

In the U.S, rabbits are still used in painful eye and skin irritation tests for consumer products. Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice all endure untold suffering for the beauty industry. Developed in the 1940s, these tests involve holding rabbits in full body restraints so that chemicals can be dripped in their eye or spread on their shaved skin. These tests are notoriously unreliable as well as extremely cruel, causing eye reddening, swelling, ulceration, even blindness, or skin cracking and bleeding. Unlike humans, rabbits have no tear ducts so they are unable to cry out the harmful substances.

Be Cruelty-Free USA is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally, Humane Society International and its Be Cruelty-Free partners are leading the charge to end cosmetics cruelty in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Korea, New Zealand and Russia, with Be Cruelty-Free USA spearheaded by The HSUS and Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Media Contact: Samantha Miller, 301-258-1417; smiller@humanesociety.org

Notes:

Yeoman’s #BeCrueltyFree photo is available for publication on request.

International Rabbit Day is celebrated on Sept. 28.

View our Cosmetic Testing fact sheet here.

Skin and eye tests on live rabbits can now be fully replaced by internationally recognised non-animal methods, such as EpiDerm™ and EpiSkin™ human skin models, and the BCOP and ICE tests for eye irritancy and corrosion.

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