The European Parliament is once again leading the way for animal rights issues after voting massively in favor of a resolution that calls for a worldwide ban on cosmetics testing on animals.

620 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in support of the resolution, which will see presidents of the European Parliament, Commission and Council and the 28 Member States taking on the mission of advocating for a worldwide ban on this cruel practice by 2023.

As described in the resolution itself, the Commission must take “decisive action to create an international agreement to bring a definitive end to cosmetics animal testing globally.”

Five years ago,the European Union banned all animal testing for cosmetics, a move which has been duplicated around the globe by countries like Norway, Israel and India.

“This has already worked on a EU level and we believe that it can work globally as well,” said Miriam Dalli, member of European Parliament from Malta. “I don’t think it is acceptable to have animals, who are sentient beings, undergo such cruel treatments for cosmetics, particularly when we know that if we have the policy in place, we can actually help researchers to innovate and find alternatives.”

Although the EU is extremely forward thinking with regards to animal rights policies, the rest of the world lags behind, with about 80 percent of countries still permitting cosmetic testing on animals.

“We estimate that over half a million animals – from rabbits to mice, rats, guinea pigs and hamsters – are still used annually in cruel and unnecessary cosmetics testing worldwide,” said Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International. “Now it’s time to work together to deliver a global end to cosmetics animal testing and eliminate animal suffering around the world.”

Cruelty Free International launched the Forever Against Animal Testing campaign with The Body Shop last year, including a petition which has already been signed by over 5.9 million people worldwide. The petition will be presented to the UN in support of an international ban once it has reached 8 million signatures.

“The EU ban has demonstrated that it is possible to have a healthy, thriving cosmetics market without the need for animal testing and today’s positive vote will take us a big step closer to an international agreement,” said Jessie MacNiel-Brown, Head of Global Campaigns for The Body Shop.

Imagine a world where innocent animals are not forced to suffer because of human vanity; we hope this world isn’t too far in the future, and that this move by the EU will have a global impact.