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December 13, 2017

State of Rio de Janeiro becomes first in Americas to enact comprehensive ban on animal testing for cosmetics

New law signals stronger determination to end animal suffering in Brazil’s beauty industry

Humane Society International

  • From left to right: Reynaldo Velloso and Tulasi Ahrends from the Rio de Janeiro Bar Association; Paulo Ramos, author of Bill 2714-A/2014; Judge Rosana Navega; Elizabeth MacGregor from the National Forum for the Protection and Defense of Animals and Helder Constantino from HSI; following the vote overturning the Governor’s veto. HSI

Humane Society International is applauding the Rio de Janeiro State Assembly for adopting the first law in Brazil and the Americas banning both the testing of cosmetics products and ingredients on animals as well as the sales of cosmetics newly tested on animals. The bill includes heavy fines and a suspension of a license to operate for those breaching the law.

Bill 2714-A/2014, authored by Representative Paulo Ramos had been adopted by the Assembly last June, but vetoed by Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão. The Governor’s veto was unanimously overturned today by the Assembly. Numerous organizations supported the bill including Humane Society International, the Fórum Nacional de Proteção e Defesa Animal, the Rio de Janeiro Bar Association, the Rio de Janeiro Magistrates Association and many scientists and academics. A petition against the veto was signed by more than 50,000 citizens.

During the debate, Representative Carlos Osório lambasted the Governor’s veto as “insanity” and cosmetic tests on animals as “barbaric.” Gilberto Palmares, co-author of the bill, emphasized that technological progress has reached a point where tests on animals in the cosmetic sector are unnecessary.

Helder Constantino, #BeCrueltyFree Brazil campaign manager for HSI, said: “This law is a new landmark. Although five states have already banned cosmetic tests on animals in the country, this is the first one to also include a sales ban. Once again state legislatures have shown their willingness to listen to consumers and take a step towards the development of more efficient and ethical animal-free methods. This is an example for the National Congress to follow, but there is no doubt this achievement will also inspire lawmakers throughout the Americas and the world.”

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Reynaldo Velloso, from the Rio de Janeiro Bar Association stated: “I see today’s victory as one that will impact all over Brazil, above all in the Federal Senate where a struggle to ban all cosmetic tests on animals is also taking place.”

Six Brazilian states have now banned the tests of cosmetic products and ingredients on animals: Paraná, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará and Amazonas, representing about 60 percent of all cosmetics companies established in Brazil.

Globally, cosmetic tests on animals have been banned in 37 countries, including the whole of the European Union, Israel, India, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan, New Zealand and Guatemala. Similar legislation is being debated in the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, South Africa and elsewhere.

Rio de Janeiro’s Bill 2714/2014 will be implemented into law as soon as it is published in the official diary.

Media contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 301-721-6440

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