Cruelty Free Logos: A Comparison

Cruelty Free Logos: A Comparison

More than ever, consumers are looking for cruelty free logos on packaging before purchasing. Social media means that shoppers are quick to call out and publicly boycott brands that don’t meet their ethical standards. But with so many logos, what are the differences between them?

‘Cruelty free’ is not a standardised or regulated term. Organisations such as Leaping BunnyPETA and Choose Cruelty-Free have their own independent criteria.

What is the difference between cruelty free logos?

Cruelty-Free International: Leaping Bunny

Cruelty-Free International is the only international body that certifies cosmetic and household products. The Leaping Bunny cruelty free logo is given only to entire brands and is not placed on individual ranges or items. Independent subsidiaries of companies are considered to be separate entities.

To obtain Leaping Bunny certification, businesses must meet the following criteria before applying:

  • Establish a fixed cut-off date after which the company commits to no animal testing. This cut-off date can be any date up to the date of applications.
  • Products and the ingredients used in those products cannot be tested on animals by anyone (including third parties) at any stage of the product or ingredient development.
  • Establish procedures for verifying and implementing the fixed cut-off date with product manufacturers and raw ingredients suppliers to monitor supply chains;
  • Adopt a no animal testing policy verified by Cruelty Free International;
  • Allow an independent audit to evidence compliance and ongoing commitment to Leaping Bunny criteria.

The application process is rigorous and, if accepted, companies must undergo regular audits by Leaping Bunny to confirm their status.

PETA: Beauty without Bunnies

To use PETA’s cruelty free logo, businesses must complete a short questionnaire and sign PETA’s statement of assurance. Businesses must also provide a statement verifying that they do not conduct or commission animal testing on ingredients, formulations or finished products.

Unlike Cruelty-Free International, PETA does not conduct audits of company facilities or require regular audits to ensure compliance to their criteria.

PETA also offers a separate cruelty free and vegan logo for vegan certification.

Choose Cruelty Free: CCF Rabbit

Choose Cruelty Free is an Australian standard, but is not limited to Australian brands.

CCF standard is similar to Leaping Bunny, but is slightly stricter in some respects.

Companies must meet the following criteria:

  • Products and ingredients used in those products cannot be tested on animneals by anyone (including third parties) at any stage of the product or ingredient development. This practice must be in place for at least 5 years before the company can apply for accreditation. (If a company is younger than 5 years, it can become certified if its products and ingredients have never been tested on animals by anyone/third parties).
  • Ingredients may not be:
    • Derived from an animal killed specifically for the extraction of that ingredient, or a slaughterhouse by-product of a commercially significant value
    • Forcibly extracted from a live animal in a manner that occasioned pain or discomfort
    • Derived from any wildlife
    • A by-product of the fur industry
  • All parent and subsidiaries must be certified cruelty free.

Companies must sign a legally binding contract declaring the truth of their claims and provide written statements from their raw ingredient suppliers stating that all ingredients they supply to the company are not tested on animals. Companies must be re-accredited periodically to assure that they continue to meet the standard.


It is possible to produce cruelty free products without applying for cruelty free logos. For new or small businesses, cruelty free logos can be too costly to implement. Consumer awareness of this issue for small businesses is on the rise, but a cruelty free logo on the package is still the fastest way to for brands to advertise their cruelty free status.

Cover image courtesy of Lilian Jones.

Comparison image courtesy of Makeup and Beauty.

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