i beleive that animal testing on cosmetics and their ingreidents is only legally required with new ingredients or in new formulations which aren't already proven/generally accepted as safe.
i think the problem is that in trying to out do each other for your cash, many cosmetic companies are contantly searching for, developing, and introducing new innovative ingredients (requiring animal testing to confirm safety) for their amazing pore minimising, light refracting, anti-aging, pro-vitamin, delta-hydroxy, nano-sphere fortified and rare guatamalan stink-weed containing face cream.
this all works becuase the customer is fickle, and will run out and buy the latest thing, based on the airbrushed magazine model and what she portrays, exotic sounding terms, mysterious magical ingredients, and half statements saying things like 'lines appear dramatically smaller' (when puffed up by the water and humectants in the product, compared skin with nothing on it, under a microscope) and 'skin feels 57% softer' (than skin thats been washed with dish soap for 3 weeks).
if big companies like Estee Lauder really cared, they'd stick to using existing proven safe ingredients, and wouldn't need to use the 'except when required by law' statement. but without some major spin, that'd hurt their wallets, and their shareholders wallets, so they won't- they'll just imply that they don't want to do it, but have to, cos the government makes them (the classic finger pointing 'he made me do it' line).
some other mainstream companies like "Simple" - a big brand in the UK- have decided to avoid the whole animal testing issue by only using already proven safe ingredients- which for products like moisturiser and lipstick and foundation and cleanser and toner makes a huge amount of sense to me- how much more innovative and amazing does ones hand soap or mascara need to be, to justify it being poked in a rabbits eye?