Canada has moved to ban the testing of cosmetics on animals, joining a number of other countries and American states to outlaw the practice.
The Canadian government announced the decision in a Tuesday news release. Bill C-47 amends the Food and Drugs Act to ban both the testing of cosmetic products on animals and the sale of products relying on animal testing data, according to the news release.
The news release noted animal testing for cosmetics was “rarely conducted in Canada.”
Canada will join the ranks of the European Union, Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, which have all moved to ban cosmetic testing on animals, according to the release.
A total of 44 countries have passed laws banning cosmetic animal testing, according to the Humane Society International. Additionally, 10 states in the US have banned the practice: New York, Virginia, California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Maine, Hawaii, Nevada, Illinois, and Maryland.
“Protecting animals, now and in the future, is something that many Canadians have been calling for, and something we can all celebrate,” said Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos in the release. “We are proud to move forward with this measure, and to assure Canadians that the products they buy are cruelty-free. We will keep working with experts and international partners to explore safe, cruelty-free alternatives so no more animals suffer and die due to cosmetic testing.”
The release added Health Canada is also working to identify “effective alternatives to animal testing” outside the cosmetic world.
The amendment banning cosmetic testing on animals in one of a package of amendments included in the measure. The text of the bill stipulates “No person shall sell a cosmetic unless the person can establish the safety of the cosmetic without relying on data derived from a test conducted on an animal that could cause pain, suffering or injury, whether physical or mental, to the animal” and that “No person shall conduct a test on an animal that could cause pain, suffering or injury, whether physical or mental, to the animal.”
The bill was first read in the House of Commons in April and received royal assent on June 22.
Cosmetic testing has historically included “toxicity tests” in which animals are focused to consume or inhale certain chemicals, or have the chemicals applied to their skin or eyes, according to the Humane Society International’s Animal-Free Safety Assessment Collaboration.
In addition to being unnecessarily cruel, animal tests are also less effective compared to newer forms of assessment like computer modeling or tests using human cells, said the Humane Society International.