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February 10, 2015

Actress and Sci-Fi Icon Tricia Helfer Joins Humane Society International in Calling for Ban on Cosmetics Animal Testing in Canada

“I shudder to imagine these terrified animals,” says Helfer for the #BeCrueltyFree Canada campaign

Humane Society International/Canada, Be Cruelty-Free

  • Tricia Helfer joins Be Cruelty-Free Canada in calling for ban on cosmetics animal testing. Photo by Manfred Baumann

Tricia Helfer, actress (Ascension, Battlestar Galactica) and passionate animal advocate, joins the growing list of Canadian celebrities to support the #BeCrueltyFree Canada campaign for a federal ban on cosmetics animal testing. #BeCrueltyFree Canada is a partnership between Humane Society International and Animal Alliance of Canada, and part of the largest-ever global campaign for an end to cosmetics cruelty.

Describing her connection to the cause, Helfer said: “As a proud Canadian, it breaks my heart that my country still allows gentle creatures such as rabbits and guinea pigs to suffer in laboratories to test new beauty products or ingredients for cosmetics. I shudder to imagine these terrified animals having chemicals forced down their throat, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin, and left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief. This is the ugly secret behind some of the world’s leading beauty brands, and it’s still perfectly legal in Canada.”

Helfer’s support for #BeCrueltyFree’s compassionate goal led her to pen a powerful op-ed article in The Edmonton Journal advocating a test ban, adding her voice to the more than 70,000 Canadians who have signed the BCF Canada petition, and more than 30 cruelty-free companies in Canada which have pledged support.

#BeCrueltyFree Canada campaigner Aviva Vetter added: “It is such an honour to have someone as accomplished and passionate as Tricia Helfer helping #BeCrueltyFree shine a spotlight on cosmetics cruelty here in Canada. Her commitment to animal welfare is a life-long affair, and like us she decries the cruel and unnecessary tests that animals are made to endure in the name of beauty. In this age of modern science, using live animals to test beauty products and ingredients is unethical, unnecessary and outdated. A growing number of countries have already banned it, and it’s time for Canada to do the same. We hope voters will join us and Tricia in urging the federal government to pass legislation banning cosmetics testing on animals as soon as possible.” 

Tricia joins stars Kristin Bauer van Straten, Emmanuelle Vaugier and Phoebe Dykstra in supporting #BeCrueltyFree Canada. Globally, celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, Leona Lewis and Ricky Gervais have given the campaign their backing.

Say “no” to cruel cosmetics in Canada by signing the #BeCrueltyFree petition to the Government of Canada.


  • 88 percent of Canadians agree that testing new cosmetics is not worth animal suffering, and 81 percent of Canadians support a national ban on animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients, according to polling by The Strategic Counsel on behalf of Animal Alliance and HSI.
  • Animal testing for cosmetics is banned across the European Union, Norway, Israel and India, and legislative bans have been proposed in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States. But the practice remains legal in around 80 percent of countries globally, including Canada.
  • More than 500 cruelty-free companies in North America avoid animal testing by relying on thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients already established as safe, with available state-of the-art non-animal test methods.
  • 3D skin models such as EpiDerm™ made from donated human skin (after surgery) have been shown to better predict skin irritation in humans than the cruel rabbit test they replace.
  • Cruelty-free brands available in Canada include LUSH Cosmetics, Lippy Girl, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Cake Beauty and Batty’s Bath.

Media Contact: Christopher Pare, 514 395-2914, cpare@hsi.org

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