Yes, you heard that right!
Bull Dog skincare, a Cruelty-free & Vegan brand, will be the first leaping bunny certified brand to sell in China. Infact, Bulldog’s products are currently available in Watsons’ Shanghai stores as of late 2019.
How is this possible?
In Nov 2019, Cruelty-free International launched a ground breaking pilot scheme that will pave way for leaping bunny certified brands to sell in China. They partnered with Knudsen & Co and Fengpu Industrial Park to help remove the remaining barriers of entry for cruelty free cosmetics brands looking to manufacture and market their products in China.
Leaping Bunny brands have previously been unable to retain Leaping Bunny status and sell in mainland China because of the continued requirement for animal tests. Through our pilot Bulldog will be supervised on to the market so that their products will not face animal testing in China at any point during their lifecycle.
China’s Animal Testing Laws
- China’s animal testing laws include pre-market and post-market testing. As per Pre-market testing laws, if the products are manufactured in China, they DO NOT need to be tested on animals. So, the brand is still considered Cruelty-free.
- As per POST-MARKET testing, even though routine post-market testing(all brands regardless of where they are manufactured ie, cosmetic products can be chosen at random and removed from shelves for “confirmatory” animal testing to ensure that the product on sale to customers is same as formulation approved for sale) has been removed, non-routine animal testing can still be conducted incase of a customer complaint. This is often done without a company’s knowledge or consent and is impossible for any brand to get exempted from this particular law.
How is this done?
Leaping Bunny China Project will use the option for domestically manufactured cosmetics to enable foreign companies to avoid animal testing when selling on the Chinese market. To secure that no animal test has been involved in the Leaping Bunny China Pilot Project, the project involves local manufacturing of foreign cosmetics combined with strict supervision of the mandatory safety assessment tests.
The partnership with oriental Beauty Valley in the Fengxian Industrial Park provides an additional safeguard of the process as manufacturing and testing will take place within this cosmetic manufacturing and innovation zone in Shanghai, supervised by Knudsen & CRC.
What does this mean?
Leaping Bunny certification currently excludes export to China because of the risk of regulatory post-market testing on animals.
Now with this new Leaping Bunny pilot program, international brands will be able to sell in mainland China without pre or post market animal testing as long as the products sold in China are domestically manufactured.
I contacted Cruelty-free International team to get more information on this pilot program and I really appreciate how responsive they were.
What about Post-Market Animal Testing?
Below is the response from Crueltyfree International on how they will be handling any post market testing:
Working with our project partners means there is expertise on hand to ensure that filing for Leaping Bunny project brands is free from animal testing and that other requirements are expertly navigated. In the highly unlikely event of any safety concerns or customer complaints, project brands would be able to recall products rather than face animal tests.
Is Bulldog still Cruelty-free?
YES and is Leaping Bunny Certified.
Can all Leaping Bunny Certified Brands sell in China now?
Not really. why?
There are still some restrictions around this program. Cruelty free International crew was kind enough to give me some more indepth details regarding the pilot program.
- This pilot currently enables only existing Leaping Bunny certified brands based in the EU that are keen to enter the Chinese market to participate.
- At this moment, the products will only be available in Shanghai province. This will enable Knudsen, CRC along with Crueltyfree International to monitor closely so animal testing will not happen at any point.
- All the products that will be manufactured in Fengxian district in Shanghai.
- Lastly, only non-special use cosmetics can be sold through this pilot program. Below was the detailed response from Crueltyfree International.
In 2014, a regulation came into effect in China that removed the requirement for domestic non-special use cosmetics to be tested on animals and allowed safety information derived from non-animal methods to be used. Leveraging this positive change in Chinese law and after observing the market for several years, Cruelty Free International initiated a pilot in the Shanghai area in 2018 that provides support to Leaping Bunny approved brands, such as Bulldog, to carefully navigate the process of selling in China whilst remaining cruelty free at all stages.
Will there be more brands selling in China through this Pilot Program?
Infact, along with Bulldog Skincare, 7th Heaven, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Subtle Energies are part of this initiative. And they have 2 other leaping bunny certified brands Azena and Brighter Beauty to join this program soon.
If this pilot is a success, this will be HUGE win to the Cruelty-free community! This Leaping Bunny in China Pilot Project could infact pave the way for international cosmetic brands that don’t test on animals to enter the Chinese market. It also allows Chinese companies to become certified under the CFI Leaping Bunny program.
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