The welfare of animals is an area of concern for the ethically minded, and is often a very emotive subject. This is especially so in the fields of animal experimentation and blood sports.
In 1998 the UK government announced it would no longer issue licences to test cosmetic products or ingredients on animals. In 2004, animal testing of finished cosmetic products, but not ingredients, was eliminated across the EU; then, in 2009, the law was extended to make it illegal to test cosmetic ingredients on animals as well. The final stages of the Cosmetics Directive were brought into effect on 11th March 2013, when the European Union introduced a complete ban on the sale of all new cosmetics that have been tested on animals.See the Animal Aid website for more information.
Read here about the Cruelty Free International campaign against animal testing for household products.

Look for the leaping bunny logo, which is a global standard and applies to all of the operations and sales of companies, not just those for the EU. This is the best way to be certain that any product you buy is truly cruelty-free.
The League against Cruel Sports peaceably campaigns to restrict the expression of people to participate in sports at the expense of animals. Also, the government has legislated in this area – see the Hunting Act 2004.

Four Paws is an animal welfare organisation with one goal: to help animals – abused due to economic, scientific or other reasons – to their rights.

For the ethical consumer animal welfare is choosing, where possible, options that minimise the effect of human activity upon animals. The obvious way to do this is to become vegetarian or vegan.


If you can’t imagine completely removing meat from your diet, try to choose organic meat, or to a lesser extent free range, which means the living space and conditions under which animals are reared is adequate to allow them to express themselves as naturally as possible. You could also try having meat free days each week.


Possibly the most well-known organisation supporting animal welfare is the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA). A charity founded in 1824, it is active across the whole range of animal protection, being involved in animal welfare and law enforcement as well as campaigning and education. It employs inspectors in prevention work, and veterinary experts in the care and treatment of farm livestock, wildlife, domestic pets and animals used in research.
RSPCA Freedom Food is sold in many stores in the UK and is produced on inspected farms to guarantee its standards are adhered to.


The red tractor is a voluntary food assurance scheme that commits farmers to higher standards of animal welfare and food safety than the law provides for. Over 78,000 UK farmers and growers are members of it.


However, some farm animals are still reared or caged in unnaturally confined spaces or under unnatural conditions. Compassion in World Farming is an organisation that seeks the worldwide abolition of factory farming as well as promoting good animal welfare standards.