Canada officially becomes the 44th country to pass laws to end or limit cosmetic animal testing and/or sales, joining the United Kingdom, Israel, the 27 member countries of the European Union, Norway, India, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, Turkey, Australia, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil.
Cosmetics animal testing and trade will officially be banned in Canada, after the Canadian government passed measures through the Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-47), on June 22, 2023. In addition to banning cosmetics animal testing, the amendments will also prohibit selling cosmetics that rely on new animal testing data to establish the product’s safety, and false or misleading labelling pertaining to the testing of cosmetics on animals.
Animal protection advocates Humane Society International/Canada, Animal Alliance Canada and Cruelty Free International, together with Cosmetics Alliance Canada, Lush Cosmetics, and The Body Shop, have been working closely with the Canadian government for several years to advance workable legislation to ban cosmetics animal testing in Canada. The coalition is thrilled that Canada will now join over 40 jurisdictions and major markets that have already passed laws to end or limit cosmetic animal testing and/or sales.
The coalition joined the Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos in issuing the following statements:
Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, Government of Canada, said: “Testing cosmetics on animals is both cruel and unnecessary. That is why we are proud to move forward on our promise to ban cosmetic animal testing and trade. Protecting animals now and in the future is something many Canadians have been advocating for and now, we can all be assured that cosmetics in Canada are cruelty-free, and we will continue to take all necessary measures to improve animal welfare. ”
Michael Bernard, deputy director, Humane Society International/Canada, said: “With the passage of these historic measures to ban cosmetics animal testing and trade, Canada is getting a cruelty-free makeover. We are so thrilled that our government has listened to the millions of Canadians who want the products they buy to be cruelty-free. This legislation truly shows the great things that can happen when government, industry, the non-profit sector and the public work together to create a better future. Canadian consumers can finally rest assured that the cosmetics they purchase have not come as a result of animal suffering—and that is something we can all feel good about.”
Darren Praznik, president and CEO of Cosmetics Alliance Canada, said: “Industry and animal protection advocates have worked together over the last several years to advance a cosmetics animal testing ban in Canada. Since this issue was first raised in Parliament through a Private Member’s Bill in the Senate in 2015, our group has met frequently to build a collaborative relationship and to align on the principles with Health Canada while ensuring the ban works within the Canadian regulatory framework. We are very pleased to see the government pass this long overdue legislation.”
Liz White, director, Animal Alliance of Canada, said: “Animal Alliance supporters thank Minister Duclos and Health Canada staff for making the cosmetics animal testing ban a reality. Canada will join the growing number of countries worldwide that have ended such practices and the government will fulfill its promise to introduce legislation to end cosmetics testing on animals as soon as 2023.”
Monica Engebretson, head of public affairs North America, Cruelty Free International,said:“Cruelty Free International applauds the Canadian Government for taking action to fulfil the wishes of the vast majority of Canadian citizens who supported a ban on animal testing for cosmetics. This has been a unifying issue that has earned cross-party support in Canada and will match the progress we are seeing around the world as consumers, companies, regulators and advocates come together to achieve a common goal of ensuring that animals won’t suffer for the sake of cosmetics anywhere.”
Brandi Halls, chief ethics officer, Lush Cosmetics North America, said: “As a company that has been campaigning to bring animal testing for cosmetics to an end since our inception over 25 years ago, today we join all of the stakeholders in celebrating this important moment for the global movement. By heeding the call of people across Canada, Minister Duclos and Health Canada are putting Canada on the right side of history by banning this outdated practice. We’re proud to have partnered with Humane Society International for over a decade and through customer responses to our in-shop campaigning, we know that the voice of the majority has been heard.”
Hilary Lloyd, vice president of marketing and corporate responsibility, The Body Shop North America, said: “Since the launch of The Body Shop’s first against animal testing initiative in 1989 and our campaigns that have followed, we’re thrilled to finally see this effort materialize in Canada. We applaud Minister Duclos and Health Canada for bringing forth this legislation and thank all who have made this change possible, notably our partners at Cruelty Free International and The Body Shop’s passionate retail teams and activist customers, who delivered over 625,000 signatures to Parliament Hill in 2018 calling for this change.”
“Be Cruelty-Free” is a campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics in Canada. Join Animal Alliance of Canada in urging the Government of Canada to end cosmetics animal testing forever.
Every year rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and other animals undergo painful procedures in research and testing laboratories. Their entire lives are spent in isolation.
Bill S-214, The Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, died when Parliament prorogued in the summer of 2019.
Politicians had the opportunity to align Canada with other cosmetics markets, namely the European Union, but chose not to act.
There are no valid technical, legal or procedural reasons preventing the Minister of Health, from acting now.
The public and industry are in agreement that cruelty to animals to test consumer products — especially cosmetics — must stop.
And there is no defensible moral, scientific, or public safety rationale for the animal cruelty, suffering and deaths, all to serve the legal fiction of making deodorant or eyeliner safe.
Canada’s Senate unanimously passed Conservative Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen’s bill banning testing cosmetics on animals in June 2018. In June 2019 the Trudeau government said it would pass the bill in the House of Commons but it didn’t.
Animal Alliance and other members of our ad hoc coalition of animal protection groups, responsible cosmetic companies and other stakeholders continued to meet regularly with officials from Health Canada. They regularly told us how important this legislation is to them. Now, however, it appears the government is going to make good on its promise.
Forty countries have banned testing cosmetics on animals, but Canada is poised to join them.
How You Can Help
- Thank Canada’s Minister of Health!
Please call or write the Minister of Health today. Letters can be mailed to the House of Commons postage-free. Hand-written letters are best, but you may also use our form, below.
Be brief and respectful.
Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
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Learn about the issue
Learn about cosmetics animal testing in Canada with our handy Q&A.
All procedures have the potential to cause animals physical as well as psychological distress.
Animal tests are increasingly being replaced with quicker, cheaper and more reliable non-animal methods.