IN 2003, after more than a decade of campaignng by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, the EU pledged to ban testing cosmetics on animals.

The ban took effect in 2009 but sadly manufacturers got around it by carrying out animal tests overseas and importing test ingredients for sale within the EU.

So animals are suffering and dying for the sake of human vanity.

Let’s be clear, innocent creatures suffer horiffic agonies so that we can have yet more beauty products.

Over 20,000 cosmetics are already available. How many more do we need? EU officials are considering a ten-year extension.

The cosmetics industry claim there are no alternative tests available.

But computer modelling, stem cell technology and test-tube analysis are ground-breaking methods more humane than animal testing, more accurate and useful for product safety.

Sheila Brennan, Blackburn.