Leaping Bunny vs Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) vs PETA
On the subject of cruelty-free brands and products, it bears mentioning that the certification organisations - Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) and PETA - do vary in terms of the strictness of their criteria. Let's take a closer look at each of them:
The Leaping Bunny certification is available via:
Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) for US and Canadian brands, and
Cruelty Free International for brands from the rest of the world.
Leaping Bunny is globally recognised as the GOLD STANDARD for cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care and household products. Why? Because it has the most rigorous standards, and they are:
It thoroughly vets each applicant to ensure they do not test their products on animals.
The applicant is not allowed to sell its products in markets that require animal testing, for example, China.
It requires the applicant's suppliers and third party manufacturers across its entire supply chain to submit documentary proof that they, too, do not test on animals and will comply with Leaping Bunny's strict standards.
It requires the applicant and its suppliers and third party manufacturers across its entire supply chain to apply a fixed cut-off date, a date after which a permanent move away from animal testing is enforced and none of them may conduct, commission or be party to animal testing on ingredients, formulations or final products anywhere in the world.
The applicant must set up a Supplier Monitoring System to ensure that (1) each of its suppliers and third party manufacturers abide by Leaping Bunny's strict standards, and (2) all ingredients, formulations and final products are checked at least once every 12 months to ensure compliance.
The applicant must agree to regular independent audits, which includes opening up its Supplier Monitoring System for verification, to ensure compliance.
The applicant must recommit to the Leaping Bunny Program annually.
Cost of application to become Leaping Bunny certified: FREE
Licensing fee to use Leaping Bunny's logo (optional): One-time fee based on the applicant's gross annual sales.
Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) is Australia's cruelty-free accreditation organisation. It certifies cosmetics, toiletries and household products in Australia and its overall criteria are virtually identical to Leaping Bunny's, making it just as stringent.
As of June 2021, CCF has officially merged with Cruelty Free International, Leaping Bunny's international certification arm. As such, CCF's certification is now part of the Leaping Bunny family.
Cost of application to become CCF certified: AU$100
Licensing fee to use CCF's logo (optional): One-time fee based on the applicant's gross annual sales.
The above are PETA's new logos, but many brands still use the old ones pictured below.
Although PETA is based in the US, it certifies brands and company's from all over the world. Below are its criteria:
It requires the applicant to sign PETA’s statement of assurance, or provide a statement verifying that they do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations or final products and that they pledge not to do so in the future.
It offers vegan certification.
Cost of application to become PETA certified: FREE
Licensing fee to use PETA's logo (optional): One-time flat rate of US$350.
Unlike Leaping Bunny and CCF, PETA does not require the following: written statements from the applicant's suppliers and third party manufacturers, supplier monitoring system, fixed cut-off date, annual re-application... nor does it conduct independent audits. It just requires a written statement from the applicant. PETA, therefore, relies on the applicant's honesty to provide a truthful statement.
Although PETA's criteria is the most lenient of the three, if I had to choose between a brand that has no certification and one that's PETA certified, I'd choose the latter. However, if given a better choice, I'd choose Leaping Bunny and CCF over PETA any day. That's a no-brainer.
To conclude, any brand or company can claim to be cruelty-free and display all sorts of impressive cruelty-free copy on their website and so on... but if no one is policing them, they can pretty much say or do anything. At the end of the day, CERTIFICATION is the only way for consumers to truly gauge a brand or company's level of cruelty-free commitment.
Note: Costs and fees, where mentioned, are correct at time of writing.