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Federal Bill Introduced to End Cosmetics Testing on Animals

Animal testing of cosmetic products and ingredients, and the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics, would be phased out under legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Passage of the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858) will bring the U.S. in line with more than 30 other countries—home to more than 1.7 billion consumers—that have already implemented similar bans.

The bipartisan bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), Joe Heck (R-NV) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA). Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States said: “Given the ready availability of alternatives, there is no compelling reason to continue using outdated animal testing methods that cause tremendous animal suffering. So many companies are already using non-animal tests for shampoos, makeups and other products sold around the world, and the United States can help accelerate that trend.”

U.S. law does not require animal testing for cosmetics, but it does not prohibit it either, so in laboratories nationwide, thousands of animals are suffering and dying to test beauty products and ingredients. Mice, rabbits, rats and guinea pigs have substances forced down their throat, dripped into their eyes or smeared onto their skin, usually without pain relief.

With the introduction of legislation in Canada last week, and now the U.S., North America is poised to be the next marketplace to end cruelty for cosmetics. American consumers want to see an end to these inhumane practices. An HSUS and Humane Society Legislative Fund poll conducted in 2013 found 73 percent of American voters are in favor of federal legislation to end animal testing for cosmetics.

Rep. McSally said: "Subjecting animals to painful and inhumane testing is not who we are as a country. There's no reason to continue this cruel practice when we have cost-effective alternatives that can bring about safe products for consumers. As an animal lover and volunteer, I'm pleased to be introducing this legislation with my colleagues to take a stand against the inhumane treatment of animals."

Rep. Beyer said: "It is time for us to end the painful and completely unnecessary process of testing American cosmetics on animals. Safer, more cost effective, and completely humane alternatives already exist, and the United States is in no danger of losing its role as a competitive leader in the global cosmetics industry. Now we need to ensure our place as a moral leader.”

The bill is supported by celebrities Kesha, Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Ricky Gervais, and more than 140 companies in the cosmetics industry such as LUSH, COTY, The Body Shop, Overstock and Paul Mitchell. Multi-national cosmetics manufacturers that already comply with similar laws in more than 30 countries are encouraged to support the Humane Cosmetics Act. The bill is endorsed by The HSUS and HSLF spearheading the #BeCrueltyFree campaign in the U.S., and Humane Society International leading the campaign globally.

Media Contact
Samantha Miller: 301-258-1466; smiller@humanesociety.org

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The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.