Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said, 'We are finally in a place where industry and animal welfare advocates are on the same page.'
There is good news for all animal lovers. After years of discussion, Ottawa is set to ban the testing of cosmetics on animals. However, animal welfare advocates say that the delay is embarrassing for Canada, as reported by The Globe and Mail. Reportedly, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is going to push changes to the federal Food and Drugs Act. The changes involve banning a range of products like make-up, perfume, body lotion, hair-styling products, shaving foam, and nail polish. It would also include cosmetics that have animal-tested ingredients.
Thank You Canada!👏“The Canadian government has confirmed plans to finally BAN cosmetic animal testing and the sale of these products. This is long overdue & will align Canada with numerous nations that have already outlawed the practice” - @AnimalJustice #CrueltyFree pic.twitter.com/dhq7dKFblu— SAFRInternational (@SAFRIntl) January 22, 2023
This law would be coming after years of campaigning by MPs, and an election pledge by the Liberals to take action on the issue. More than 40 countries have already banned the testing of cosmetic products on animals. Countries like Britain and some US states like California, Maine, and Louisiana are part of this list. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith hasn't been happy about the delay in introducing a ban in Canada on animal testing. Smith said, "We are finally in a place where industry and animal welfare advocates are on the same page."
Nearly 40 countries around the world have banned cosmetic animal testing. It's time for Canada to get with the times to join the #crueltyfree movement! 🐰💄— Animal Justice (@AnimalJustice) July 21, 2022
However, the federal government has been working on reducing animal testing in other areas as well. Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada are trying to alter a requirement for new chemicals and drugs to be tested on animals. These changes would allow chemicals and drugs to be tested for safety using alternatives other than animals.
Health Canada said in a statement, “The Department is developing a proposal to ban cosmetic testing on animals and continues to support the development and use of alternative methods to animal testing for other products or uses."
The Cosmetics Alliance of Canada, which represents Canada’s cosmetics and personal care products industry, said that tests on animals which includes tests on the eyes for irritation and on the skin for allergic reactions, are extremely rare in Canada. Darren Praznik, the alliance’s president and chief executive said that they are "fully supportive" of a ban. He said, "All the stakeholders, including industry, have worked very hard over the last several years to advance a cosmetics animal testing ban in Canada, including aligning on the principles with Health Canada to ensure workable legislation." He added, "While we appreciate the delays due to the pandemic, it is time for the government to finally get this done.”
Charu Chandrasekera, executive director of the University of Windsor’s Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods, said that there are already many alternatives to animal testing. “We have no excuse at all for not doing this,” she said. “There are thousands of ingredients that have been tested already.”
She added that cosmetic testing on animals is not much conducted in Canada and there are already "cruelty-free" cosmetic brands that are available in the country. Health Canada said in a statement that a broad consultation will take place before the two sets of proposed regulatory changes. It added that no changes will be finalized before August 2023.