The European Parliament has voted to adopt a resolution supporting a global ban on cosmetics.
The resolution - described by campaigners as 'a crucial step in our mission to end cosmetics testing on animals internationally' - was supported by 620 Members of the European Parliament [MEPs].
It calls for the Commission to take 'decisive action to create an international agreement (within the UN framework similar to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)) to bring a definitive end to cosmetics animal testing globally'.
The vote, which follows the five-year anniversary of the EU's landmark animal testing ban on cosmetics, was in response to a petition launched by The Body Shop and campaign organization Cruelty Free International.
According to the group: "[The petition] to end cosmetics testing globally has now reached 5.7 million signatures in just 10 months, making it the biggest petition ever against animal testing.
"When we've reached our target of 8 million signatures, we’ll be taking it to the UN to call for an international convention to end the practice."
A big battle ahead
Finnish EPP MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, welcomed the vote - calling efforts to enact a global ban a 'big battle ahead'.
She added: "Today the Parliament has taken a significant step in consigning the cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals in cosmetics testing to the history books.
"We now call on our colleagues in the Commission and the Council to drive this forward and ensure we manage to achieve a global ban.
"[Animal testing] seems to say something very ugly about us as humans. I would also like to see more funding and resources so that we can have more non-animal based testing for such purposes."
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, said: "Tragically, despite the availability of approved non-animal tests and existing ingredients safe for human use, there are still no laws banning animal tests for cosmetics products and ingredients in 80 percent of the world.
"We estimate that over half a million animals – from rabbits to mice, rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters – are still used annually in cruel and unnecessary cosmetics testing worldwide.
"Five years after the full EU bans, the time is right to go one step further. The leadership that MEPs have shown by adopting this resolution deserves much credit. Now it’s time to work together to deliver a global end to cosmetics animal testing and eliminate animal suffering around the world."
A big step closer
Jessie Macneil-Brown, The Body Shop’s Head of Global Campaigns, added: "The Body Shop is pushing hard for a global ban to end cosmetic animal testing everywhere and forever.
"Our customers worldwide are hugely supportive of cruelty-free cosmetics.
"The EU ban has demonstrated that it is possible to have a healthy, thriving cosmetics market without the need for animal testing and today's positive vote will take us a big step closer to an international agreement."