Fact Check

Is This a Picture of a Bunny at a L'Oreal Animal Testing Lab?

An heart-rending image of a rabbit was deceptively repurposed for use in a protest against animal testing.

Published Mar 17, 2015

A photograph depicts a rabbit subjected to animal testing at the L'Oreal cosmetic company's labs.

In early 2013 an image of a suffering rabbit began to circulate online accompanied by a claim attributing the animal's visibly poor health to laboratory testing conducted by the L'Oreal cosmetics and beauty company.

A version of the picture was posted to Twitter in February 2013, and in April 2013 the rabbit photo and rumor circulated on Tumblr and was also posted to Reddit:

When the photograph and claim spread across several social networks including Facebook in March 2015, L'Oreal responded on their own Facebook page, explaining that their cosmetics were never tested on animals except for instances in which such tests are mandated by law:

Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. L'Oreal no longer tests any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world. Nor does L'Oreal delegate this task to others. An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes. You can read more about our policy here:


As for the rabbit pictured, the condition it was suffering from was not induced through the cruelty of commercial product testing. The photograph originated with a Florida veterinarian's office and was originally published by the clinic as an example of a case of ear mites (Psoroptes cuniculi) which they had treated.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.