Canada Moves Toward Eliminating Animal Testing in Cosmetics

©. Leaping Bunny

It's the right thing to do, but bill enactments take a long time.

Canada has moved one step closer to eliminating animal testing in all cosmetics products. In mid-December, Bill S-214, also known as the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act, passed its second reading in the Senate with great support. It will now pass to the Senate committee for Social Affairs, Science, and Technology for further study.

If the bill is enacted, Canada will join many other nations that have already banned animal testing within national boundaries, as well as the sale of products that have been newly animal tested elsewhere in the world. Countries that have banned animal testing include New Zealand, Brazil, the European Union, Israel, India, and Taiwan.

In the words of Human Society International (HSI) Canada’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign manager, Aviva Vetter, 35 major markets have pledged to eliminate animal testing, therefore, “It’s high time for Canada to join their ranks.”

Every year, an estimated 200,000 animals suffer and die as a result of cosmetics testing. These animals are used to determine whether new products or specific ingredients are safe for human use. HSI describes the barbaric and cruel practices:

“[Animal tests] can include skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of rabbits; repeated oral force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards, such as cancer or birth defects; and even widely condemned ‘lethal dose’ tests, in which animals are forced to swallow massive amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.”

Animal testing has been proven unnecessary by large cosmetics companies such as LUSH, which has never allowed any of its products to be tested on animals throughout the company’s 30-year history. LUSH even offers an annual £250,000 prize for researchers who are working to end chemical testing on animals.

Senator Don Meredith strongly supports the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act:

“New and more effective ways have been developed to test the effects of chemicals on humans, eliminating the need for animal testing... [These] are generally less expensive and less time-consuming than their animal-based counterparts, which sometimes take months or years to conduct, at costs of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The time has come to end cruelty against animals in Canada.”

You can add your voice to the campaign by signing a pledge here and sending a letter to your Member of Parliament.