MANY people are concerned about the number of animals used in painful experiments but may not realise they could help to decrease this by being careful about their everyday purchases.

Testing cosmetics and the ingredients used has been banned in the UK, but there are still cosmetics on sale which have been tested abroad using animals.

Also, there is no ban, as yet, in this country on using animals to test household products.

Many businesses which have a genuine commitment to end animal testing have what is called a fixed cut off date policy. This means they will not use any newly-developed ingredients which have been tested on animals after a specific date.

The animal welfare organisation Naturewatch publishes a compassionate shopping guide listing companies which it endorses.

Naturewatch's address is 14 Hewllett Road, Cheltenham, GL52 6AA. Alternatively, call 01242 252871, email or visit

Mrs P E Stevens, Eversley Avenue, Bexleyheath