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Animal Testing for Cosmetics is Banned in Canada

Canada has banned animal testing for cosmetics, becoming the 44th Country to #BeCrueltyFree.

Lush has been fighting against animal testing for more than three decades, fundamentally believing that animal testing is ineffective, outdated and inhumane. Globally, nearly 500,000 animals suffer and die each year just to test cosmetics. Terrified rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs have substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin—left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief.

A huge win for animals

We are beyond thrilled to be able to say that Canada has passed legislation to ban animal testing for cosmetics!

Legislation was passed by Parliament to amend the Food and Drugs Act to prohibit testing cosmetics on animals in Canada. The measures 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.

Canada becomes the 44th country to instate this ban alongside: the United Kingdom, European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Israel, India, South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Guatemala, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and most recently, Brazil. In addition, ten U.S. states have also enacted bans, and further federal measures are in development in the U.S., Chile, South Africa, and elsewhere.

A team effort

Thanks to Humane Society International and the Animal Alliance of Canada and others for working tirelessly for this win! Together, we campaigned in our Lush shops, presented to Parliamentary Committee Hearings, engaged more than 150,000 people to send messages to the Canadian government; and built the movement to where an overwhelming 87% of Canadians supported a nation-wide ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

What’s next?

The fight doesn’t end here! Neither Lush nor our partners are satisfied with ending animal testing for cosmetics. We intend to fight animal research into extinction, including flawed and failed regulatory tests and other experiments by continuing to pass legislation across the globe.

The Canadian Council on Animal Care is a national organization dedicated to setting and maintaining standards for the use and care of animals in research, testing and teaching in Canada.

According to their 2020 Animal Data Report, over five million animals were used for a wide range of scientific studies in 2020. The purposes of these tests ranged from regulatory testing of products for the protection of humans, animals, or the environment to education and training of individuals for post-secondary institutions. Of the five million animals tested, close to two million experienced minor to severe pain, discomfort and distress while being tested on. That’s one too many animals suffering in vain at the hands of humans in the name of science.

These numbers however do not reflect ALL the animals used in testing in Canada, as private companies are not required to report the number of animals they use in testing to the CCAC.

Animal tests are increasingly being replaced by quicker, cheaper and more reliable non-animal methods. 3D skin models such as EpiDerm—made from artificial human skin—can be grown in labs and have been shown to predict skin reactions in human beings better than cruel rabbit tests. These cruelty-free methods prove that non-animal methods are also viable to determine eye irritations, skin allergies and other reactions.

UK-based biotechnology company, XCellR8 provides scientifically advanced and ethically sound alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics. XCellR8 currently works with Lush to determine product efficacy and safety through the use of human cell culture and other animal-free testing.

XCellR8’s work is a key example that vegan testing is both an effective and efficient way of testing the safety and efficacy of products. Using zero animal-derived tissues, serums and antibodies, XCellR8’s animal-product-free approach paves the way for an animal-free research future.

The Lush Prize

The Lush Prize is awarded to those creating and developing animal-free initiatives.

At Lush, we’re proud to host the Lush Prize, an annual global prize fund established to support initiatives that end or replace animal testing. The Lush Prize is the largest prize fund in the non-animal testing sector. Since its founding, it has allocated 2.69 million pounds to over 130 winners in 30 countries around the world—that’s a lot of change.

Eight prizes

Every two years, prizes are awarded to projects, organizations, institutions or individuals for science, training, lobbying and public awareness to support work in creating and developing animal-free initiatives.

The Lush Prize consists of eight awards including: Black Box Prize, Lobbying Prize, Public Awareness Award, Science Prize, Training Prize, Young Researcher Prize and non-financial prizes like the Political Achievement Award and Andrew Tyler Award.

The fight continues

Our work is far from done! This new ban on animal testing for cosmetics in Canada is just the tip of the iceberg. Together, we must continue to work to end animal research on a global level through education, awareness and advocacy. Stop by your local Lush shop to learn how you can help or purchase a Charity Pot Body Lotion or coin to support grassroots organizations fighting for animal protection, environmental justice and human rights.

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