Supreme Court maintains Amazonas ban on cosmetic testing on animals following industry challenge

Humane Society International celebrates landmark decision for animal protection and the #BeCrueltyFree campaign

Humane Society International / Brazil


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BRASILIA—The Brazilian Supreme Court decided today that the State of Amazonas was within its rights to promulgate Law 289/2015 banning cosmetic tests on animals in its territory. The law, passed in 2015 by the State Assembly of Amazonas to end these cruel and unnecessary tests, was challenged by the Brazilian Association of Cosmetics, Personal Hygiene and Perfume Industry (ABIHPEC). ABIHPEC submitted a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI 5996) to the Supreme Court in September 2018, arguing that the State of Amazonas had overstepped its powers and that the subject matter could only be ruled at the federal Level.

Humane Society International submitted an opinion to the Court, defending the constitutionality of Amazonas’ ban by underlining that the state prohibition on the use of animals for cosmetic testing was both legally valid and scientifically sound. In a unanimous vote, the 11 judges decided against ABIHPEC’s request and confirmed that Amazonas has a legal right to ban cosmetics testing.

Helder Constantino, HSI/Brazil’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign manager, congratulated the Supreme Court for its decision: “It is wonderful that some progress has been achieved for the animals in these difficult times. Cosmetic tests on animals are unethical and strongly rejected by consumers. Over the years, a total of eight states have stepped in and enacted progressive legislation banning these tests, starting with São Paulo in 2014. This case was a very important one: if the law of the Amazonas had been declared unconstitutional, similar legislation could have been abrogated in all over Brazil. We congratulate the Court for its balanced judgement and for reaching its decision via a virtual process in order to comply with the confinement measures that we all must follow to slow down the COVID-19 epidemic.

ABIHPEC is also challenging Law 7.814/2017, which prohibits animal testing on cosmetics and the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Judge Gilmar Mendes is presiding over the case (ADI 5995) and has yet to issue a decision.

HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign is supporting federal legislation ending cosmetic tests on animals. A report proposed to the Senate’s Commission of Economic Affairs (CAE) by Senator Alessandro Vieira, amending Bill 70/2014, would ban animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients and ban testing cosmetics on animals with immediate effect.

Facts:

  • Launched in 2012 by Humane Society International, #BeCrueltyFree is the largest campaign in history to end cosmetics animal testing and trade globally.
  • In Brazil, #BeCrueltyFree has received the support of Xuxa Meneghel, Fernanda Tavares, Ellen Jabour, Ray Neon, Rita Von Hunty, and many other influencers and celebrities. #BeCrueltyFree has also been joined by other NGOs, such as Latin American consumer awareness group Te Protejo.
  • The states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have already banned cosmetic tests on animals. Together, these states host approximately 70% of Brazil’s national cosmetic industry.
  • Thirty-nine countries have already enacted measures aligned with the objectives of the campaign, including the European Union, Norway, India, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Guatemala and Australia. Similar legislation is under consideration in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United States and elsewhere.
  • Tests on animals are still allowed by National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance (Anvisa) regulations to assess the toxicity of cosmetics. Although some tests have been recently abolished by the National Council for the Control of Animal Experiments, a body of the Ministry of Science and Technology, long-term toxicity tests that can use hundreds of animals to evaluate a single substance are still allowed.

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Media contact: Helder Constantino, hconstantino@hsi.org, +55 (21) 9 8342 4163

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