THE BLOG

Banning Cosmetic Animal Testing Will Bring Us Closer to a Truly Humane Society

06/22/2015 05:34 EDT | Updated 06/22/2016 05:59 EDT
www.jochenbongaerts.com via Getty Images
Rabbit

Some decisions are no-brainers, like afternoon naps, hitting the "snooze" button, and ending needless animal suffering. So it makes sense that we arrived at this point, where Canadians have made it clear -- eight out of ten, to be specific -- that it's time for our country to ban cosmetics animal testing, as well as the sale of beauty products (and their ingredients) subject to new animal testing in other parts of the world.

This week, we saw massive public support translate into real change when New Brunswick Senator Stewart Olsen launched a federal bill to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade in Canada. It is a huge victory for #BeCrueltyFree Canada, and vindication for all the rabbits, mice and other animals who have been blinded, poisoned and killed in the name of beauty.

The introduction of the Senate Bill follows months of intensive campaigning by Humane Society International and Animal Alliance of Canada, during which time we've had high-level discussions with policy makers in Ottawa and with our national industry association toward making Canada the world's next cruelty-free cosmetics market. Already more than 500 cosmetic companies throughout North America are certified cruelty-free. In place of animal testing, or the use of newly animal-tested ingredients, these companies rely on the thousands of existing ingredients already established as safe, combined with available state-of-the-art non-animal test methods.

In animal tests, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small mammals endure considerable suffering. Cosmetic chemicals are dripped in their eyes, spread on their skin or force fed to them in massive -- even lethal -- doses. Canadian law neither requires nor prohibits animal testing to demonstrate cosmetics safety, so it's actually legal to test cosmetics on animals within our borders and sell cosmetics that have been animal-tested abroad. But the sales ban we've negotiated will prevent that, and a national test ban will further ensure that cosmetics animal testing can never return to Canada.

The support has been overwhelming. We've had the pleasure of working with some phenomenal Canadians during this campaign, including actresses Tricia Helfer, Emanuelle Vaugier and Laura Vandervoort; former VJs Lauren Toyota and Phoebe Dykstra, and professional makeup artist Cait Mizzi. All of these people care deeply about animals, and gave their time and energy to helping us deliver a very important message: that, as a country, we will not stand by idly -- especially in an age when proven alternatives exist, and how other countries have already adopted cruelty-free practices.

Last year we crossed the country promoting an end to cosmetics animal testing, and the response was overwhelming: a whopping 88 per cent of Canadians agree that a new hair dye or skin cream should not come at the expense of animal suffering, and our federal government's commitment to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade brings us one step closer to a truly humane society that we can all be proud of.

We still have so much more to do, and your help is more important than ever -- ask Canada's Parliament to vote to #BeCrueltyFree by signing and sharing!

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