The Mentalist star Owain Yeoman (above) and singer Leona Lewis are showing bunnies some love this International Rabbit Day (yes there really is such a thing). They are supporting Humane Society International's Be Cruelty-Free campaign to put an end to animal testing for cosmetics around the world.
The stars feature in exclusive photos in which they can be seen cuddling up to rabbits, one of the most commonly used animals in cosmetics testing.
Unlike in Europe, Israel and India where cosmetics animal testing is banned, elsewhere around the world there is no such legal ban preventing companies from testing cosmetic products or ingredients on animals. But HSI's Be Cruelty-Free campaign aims to see an end to the practice.
Yeoman said: "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 that there are thousands of rabbits, just as special, suffering a terrible fate to test cosmetics."
Around the world, rabbits are 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, skin and eye irritation 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 can't cry out the harmful substances.
Be Cruelty-Free is 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, China, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and beyond. Be Cruelty-Free USA is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund.