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June 5, 2014

Be Cruelty-Free Brazil Welcomes Historic Bill to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing but Warns Urgent Improvements Needed to Close Loopholes

Humane Society International

  • Be Cruelty-Free Brazil's Antoniana Ottoni with Parliamentary Front in Defence of Animals' Deputado Ricardo Izar; HSI

Animal advocates from the Be Cruelty-Free Brazil campaign have welcomed today’s passage in the Chamber of Deputies of Bill 6602/13 to ban animal testing for cosmetics in Brazil.

The Bill comes following more than a year of high-profile campaigning by Be Cruelty-Free Brazil, whose celebrity Ambassador is supermodel Fernanda Tavares. However, the animal protection experts warn that urgent amendments to the Bill are needed to avoid ‘unfortunate loopholes’ that would leave Brazil’s laboratory animals at risk from cosmetics cruelty.

The Bill voted in plenary is the product of a compromise between Be Cruelty-Free Brazil supporter Deputado Ricardo Izar, president of the Parliamentary Front in Defence of Animals, and the Government. While it prohibits animal testing of most cosmetic ingredients and products, it doesn’t include “ingredients with unknown effects”. Neither does the ban prohibit the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics, meaning companies will still be able to test their cosmetics on animals abroad and sell them back in Brazil.

Be Cruelty-Free Brazil’s Antoniana Ottoni said: “Today Brazil has taken its first important step on the path to banning cruel and out-dated animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients. So we congratulate our Be Cruelty-Free supporter Deputado Izar and the Assembly for passing this historic Bill. Testing cosmetics on rabbits and other animals is a totally unnecessary cruelty so we are thrilled that Brazil is joining the ranks of the European Union, Norway, Israel and India in ending the practice.

“However, as it is currently worded there are some unfortunate loopholes in the Bill that must be closed. Our experts, who played a central role in achieving the EU and Indian cosmetics bans, are working with the Senate and all parties involved to help improve Brazil’s Bill and bring it closer to what Brazilians want to see: a completely cruelty-free cosmetics future for Brazil. Nonetheless, this is an important milestone for our Be Cruelty-Free Brazil campaign, and on behalf of the thousands of Brazilian citizens who have supported us, we pledge to continue leading the call for a Brazil free of cosmetics cruelty.”

Senator Eduardo Suplicy said: “Be Cruelty-Free Brazil must be congratulated for the energy and professionalism it has brought to these efforts to help achieve a Brazilian ban on cosmetics animal testing. I am glad to see this important issue now being taken up by the Parliament and I wish the Bill swift passage through the Senate. Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign provides global leadership on this issue so I feel confident that their proposals for improving the Bill further will produce the best outcome for animals. I believe that animals shouldn't suffer and die to test cosmetics, all cosmetics should be cruelty-free.”

Fernanda Tavares, Be Cruelty-Free Brazil Ambassador, said: “As Be Cruelty-Free Brazil Ambassador I am very proud today of our legislators for passing this compassionate Bill. I have met with and spoken to a number of politicians in my Ambassadorial role and I am grateful to them for listening to the will of the Brazilian people. I am honoured that Be Cruelty-Free Brazil plays such a central role in these endeavours. Cosmetics animal testing is a needless cruelty and it must end.”

The Be Cruelty-Free Brazil campaign, led by Humane Society International and supported by ProAnima, ARCA Brasil and the Forum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa Animal, is leading the nationwide effort for a ban on cosmetics animal testing.

Campaign milestones so far include: 

  • More than 150 federal parliamentarians signing our Be Cruelty-Free pledge
  • Presenting the Conselho Nacional de Controle de Experimentação Animal with the first ever-technical report proposing a ban on animal testing for cosmetics
  • Celebrities Fernanda Tavares, Giselle Itie and Fiorella Mattheis starring in our Be Cruelty-Free video appeal
  • Working with local animal protection groups to achieve a ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the state of São Paulo
  • Publishing an open letter to CONCEA signed by 17 high-ranking Brazilian and international scientists expressing support for a Brazil ban on all cosmetic animal tests
  • Presenting the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation with tens of thousands of petition signatures from Brazilian citizens in favour of a ban

Cosmetics animal testing is banned across the European Union, Norway, Israel and India. In January the State of São Paulo introduced a total ban on such testing, the first of its kind in Latin America. However in the rest of Brazil, such testing is still legal, with cosmetics regulations relying heavily on outdated and cruel procedures in which rabbits and rodents are subjected to painful eye, skin and oral poisoning.

Be Cruelty-Free Brazil is part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Be Cruelty-Free campaigns run in Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.

Media contact: Helder Constantino, +55 (21) 8342 4163, hconstantino@hsi.org

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