Will cosmetic animal testing be banned in Canada?

After being in review for over two years, a bill that would ban cosmetic animal testing in Canada has finally cleared the Senate.

On Tuesday, June 19th, The Cruelty-free Cosmetics Act was sent to the House of Commons. First introduced in December of 2015 by Conservative Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen, the bill would ban Canadian cosmetic companies from testing on animals, and change the Food and Drugs Act, prohibiting the sale of animal-tested cosmetics developed or manufactured anywhere in the world. If the bill passes, no product that undergoes animal testing will be considered safe, regardless of the test results. “Animal testing is cruel and unreliable,” said Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen earlier this year. “We have moved as a society beyond just accepting, a priori, that animals need to be tortured to establish safety.” The practice, Stewart Olsen adds, has no place in Canada.

Should the bill pass, a four-year phase in period will allow the industry to adjust. This approach was effectively taken by the European Union, who established a complete ban on the sale of cosmetics developed through animal testing. And as the cruelty-free movement continues to rise, many of North America’s top cosmetic brands, such as LUSH and the Body Shop, have already made the transition away from animal testing. According to Stewart Olsen, the success of these brands further proves that testing is not needed to establish safety.