Bunny Tears: The Ingredient of Testing

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This is Lola, she is an albino New zealand rabbit breed. This breed is mostly used for testing and research. Do not let the likes of Lola live and die brutally for vanity, when so many cruelty free options exist.

Rabbits like Lola are intensively farmed then sold to the lab, where they endure extreme and painful testing and sometimes live dissection. They are then killed.

Cosmetic Testing - the Ingredient of tears

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Many beauty products including hair products, dyes and makeup have a reputation of being very high-end, “good quality” brands which many people instantly gravitate towards because of their well-known brand name. What a large majority of people are blind to, is the fact that those products often test their products on animals to observe any of the detrimental side effects that may arise before being allowed for human use.

In most cases the animals—usually albino rabbits are bred for the lab in factory farms. They are then sold to labs, where they are often housed in isolation, in bare, wire cages without sufficient space to move or environmental enrichment.

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The Draize test involves applying an amount of the substance under study to an animal’s eye or skin for several hours, and then observing whether or not irritation occurs over the following week or two. Test animals are then put to death in a brutal manner of cervical dislocation after the sometimes maiming and often painful test.

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Those tests cause extreme discomfort and pain to the animals involved. Rabbits are very fragile animals and usually live in groups. Under stress they seek comfort in one another as can be seen in this lab condition. This is however not permitted, and they are all individually isolated for testing.

In the eye version of the Draize test, rabbits are placed in restraining stocks and their eyelids are held open with clips—in some cases for days at a time—to keep them from blinking away the test solutions.

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Rabbits have no tear ducts so, unlike humans, they can’t cry out harmful substances from their eye. This means that in the Draize eye test the rabbit’s eye is exposed to more of the test chemical for longer periods, which is one of the main reasons why rabbits are chosen for this procedure.

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They are used in the Draize Eye and Skin tests which were developed in the 1940s. These tests are still used today by some companies, such as L’Oreal and Revlon.

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The skin test involves shaving a part of the rabbit’s body and applying a test substance to their skin. The site is covered with a gauze patch for up to four hours, after which the patch is removed and the remaining substance wiped away. A wound is allowed to develop at the site for up to 14 days, and the degree of skin damage is then assessed. A chemical is considered to be an irritant if it causes reversible skin lesions, such as inflammation, that heal partially or totally by the end of the observation period.

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The test may cause rabbits to suffer from inflamed skin, ulcers, bleeding, and bloody scabs. There is no requirement that animals be provided with pain-relieving drugs during this prolonged process.

Animal-based skin irritation studies have never been properly validated.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, has been leading the way in raising  awareness among consumers and within the cosmetics industry about how harsh and inhumane the Draize Test could be for its unwitting subjects. According to their and their affiliate research university in Germany,  some of the leading non-animal tests are conducted on cell cultures, human and animal corneas from eye banks, corneal tissue cultures, and frozen corneas supplied by hospitals.

There are a great number of successful companies that are against animal testing, and use cruelty free products that have not been tested on animals. You can find more information at http://www.gocrueltyfree.org.

Click here for the Global leaping bunny shopping guide (pdf).

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You can help rabbits like Lola by pledging to go cruelty free.

Download our leaflet (A4 double sided) (pdf) and sample letter (word document) and distribute it to salons, shops or even friends that use animal tested products to raise their awareness and promote cruelty free products.