Cosmetics animal testing is in the spotlight—now’s the time to end it

Cosmetics animal testing is in the spotlight—now’s the time to end it



One of our most urgent fights at the federal level centers on passage of the Humane Cosmetics Act in Congress. It’s got strong bipartisan support, cosmetics industry approval and the backing of scientists who understand the limitations of conventional animal tests and are committed to new approaches. We know that its passage will add extraordinary momentum to the worldwide campaign against animal testing. We are also convinced that this is the right time, the right Congress and the right political environment in which to get it over the finish line.

We can’t do it alone: We need your help to make it happen. If you haven’t already done so, please contact your federal elected officials to express your support. And if you have already contacted them, consider following up to ensure that both of your senators and your congressional representative are active and engaged as cosponsors.

The shift away from animal testing for cosmetics and other products has gained great momentum in recent years, and this progress has been driven by a remarkable confluence of factors. Fifty years of campaigning by animal protection advocates has brought once-common procedures, like the Draize rabbit eye irritation test, to the brink of elimination.

Consumer demand in the marketplace has spurred the creation of a cruelty-free products sector now valued in the billions. Dynamic and innovative science continues to produce stunning new methods that are more relevant to the human condition and a stronger safety assurance for consumers. Finally, national governments, trade associations and regulatory bodies have embraced the call for clear, consistent and streamlined guidance and protocols for testing.

Popular culture has played an important role in bringing this and other animal issues to the forefront, and it is sometimes unappreciated as a driver of our work. But not this month, as Save Ralph, the stop-motion animation short film produced by Humane Society International, was awarded two prestigious Webby Awards for best Public Service & Activism video. The film, which tells the heartbreaking story of a lovable rabbit who works in a lab as a “tester,” became a viral sensation and strengthened our campaign to forge a path toward a future without animal testing. Save Ralph, produced in five languages and subtitled in many others, has motivated millions of people worldwide to sign HSI petitions to outlaw animal testing in cosmetics—and in Mexico, it propelled a successful legislative initiative to prohibit the practice. The film’s reception has offered the strongest possible proof concerning the power of culture in driving good changes for animals.

Lead Image: The Humane Cosmetics Act would prohibit animal testing for all cosmetic products manufactured or sold in the U.S. unoL/iStock.com.

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