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March 11, 2013

As Europe Bans Animal-Tested Cosmetics, HSI/Canada and Animal Alliance Call on Canada to “Be Cruelty-Free”

Opinion poll shows 8 of 10 Canadians support national cosmetics animal testing ban

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Poll shows overwhelming public support for cosmetics animal testing ban. iStock

MONTREAL — Humane Society International/Canada and Animal Alliance of Canada welcome implementation of the European Union’s long-awaited ban on selling newly animal-tested cosmetics, and call on the Canadian government to follow suit by enacting legislation to end cosmetics animal testing across the country. A recent Strategic Counsel poll commissioned on behalf of the organizations reveals that Canadians feel very strongly about the issue, with an overwhelming majority supportive of a nation-wide ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals.

“Animal testing is the ugly secret of the beauty industry,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada “Each year, an untold number of rabbits, mice and other animals are subjected to invasive chemical-poisoning tests to produce new cosmetic ingredients even though it’s quite possible for companies to create cosmetics the cruelty-free way through reliance on already existing ingredients with a history of safe use. It is time for the Canadian government to listen to the overwhelming majority of Canadians who support a national ban on cosmetics animal cruelty.”

Animal Alliance of Canada Director Liz White said, “More than 400 cosmetic companies have already sworn off animal testing. The popularity and commercial success of companies like LUSH is proof positive of the strength of the cruelty-free cosmetics market in Canada.”

Cosmetics animal testing has been banned in Europe since 2009, and now the sale of cosmetics containing ingredients newly animal-tested in other countries, including Canada, is also banned. Similar bans have been enacted in Israel, and are under discussion in India. In Canada, animal testing for cosmetics is not explicitly required by law, but neither is it prohibited. HSI/Canada and the Animal Alliance have launched the Canadian arm of the global Be Cruelty-Free campaign to ensure that no rabbit, guinea pig or other animal is ever again subject to distressing and painful testing in Canada for the sake of a new beauty product.

To celebrate the EU becoming the world’s largest cruelty-free cosmetics market, HSI/Canada and Animal Alliance have launched Be Cruelty-Free Week to raise awareness and to call on Canada’s cosmetics industry to turn its back on animal testing once and for all. Consumers are invited to show their support by signing a Be Cruelty-Free online pledge and by watching a new thought-provoking animated video called ‘Bright Eyes’. Launched via YouTube, Bright Eyesshows animal testing from the perspective of a rabbit called Warren, and was generously donated by Australian Be Cruelty-Free partner Choose Cruelty Free.

Responses to specific poll questions:

  • 88 percent of Canadians agreed that animal testing “can cause pain and suffering to animals and it is not worth causing this kind of suffering just to test the safety of cosmetics, especially when there are safe ingredients already available,” whereas 12 percent felt that “companies should be free to develop and test new cosmetic ingredients even if this means that pain and suffering may be caused to animals in the process, since this ensures the safety of new cosmetics.”
  • 81 percent of Canadians are supportive of a nation-wide ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals.
  • Among those who are either undecided or opposed to a Canadian ban, when told that the European Union has banned cosmetic testing on animals, one-third (32 percent) shifted their position to support a Canadian ban.

Click here to view the Strategic Counsel poll results.

Additional information on Be Cruelty-Free can be found at hsicanada.ca/becrueltyfree.


Media contacts:

HSI/Canada: Dean Pogas, 514.395.2914, dpogas@hsi.org

Animal Alliance of Canada: Liz White, 416.462.9541 x23, liz@animalalliance.ca


1. The EU ban will make it illegal, from March 11, 2013, to market cosmetics within the European Union if the final product or any of its ingredients have been animal-tested anywhere in the world after that date. It therefore prohibits the sale of newly animal-tested cosmetics and requires companies to use existing approved ingredients in their products. Cruelty-free cosmetics and ingredients are those that have not been subject to new animal testing after a specified date because they are already in safe use.

2. The November 2012 public opinion poll by The Strategic Counsel, on behalf of Animal Alliance of Canada and Humane Society International/Canada, used a national online panel of 1,002 Canadians to solicit the views of those 18 years of age or older on issues related to animal testing.

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsicanada.ca/becrueltyfree.

Animal Alliance of Canada is committed to the protection of the environment and the lives of all animals with whom we share our world. We work on local, national, and international educational and legislative advocacy initiatives, with our primary focus on achieving long-term animal and environmental protection through political action. — On the Web at animalalliance.ca.

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