London: A ban on selling cosmetics that have been tested on animals has come into force throughout the entire European Union (EU).
This victory for animal welfare campaigners comes after decades of protests against using animals to test the safety of toiletries.
EU regulators announced the ban along with a pledge to make more efforts to push other parts of the world, like China, to accept alternatives, Daily Express reported.
Tonio Borg, the EU commissioner for health and consumer policy, said the ban, which would come into effect immediately, "gives an important signal on the value that Europe attaches to animal welfare".
Before a ban on animal experiments in the EU in 2009, about 2,000 animals were still being used for testing in France, the Czech Republic, Spain and Romania.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (RSPCA) chief executive Gavin Grant said: "Animal testing in the name of beauty has never been acceptable.
"This landmark legislation at the end of a long campaign sends out a loud and clear message to other countries and those operating outside the EU.
"If their products or ingredients have been newly-tested on animals then they cannot be sold in the EU, no matter where the testing took place."
Cosmetics company L`Oreal, which is based in France, has said that it would respect the ban and "no longer sell in Europe any finished product with an ingredient that was tested on animals" after Monday.
The RSPCA, however, said: "This is a great day for animals but it isn`t the end of the story, there are still many animals being used across the world to develop cosmetics products that will be sold outside of the EU."
"We will now be taking our message to these countries and companies to ask them to follow our lead and end this suffering."