Canada’s ban on animal testing of cosmetics lauded by B.C. organizations

This week, Health Canada announced a ban on cosmetic testing on animals. A Vancouver makeup company tells Sarah Chew this has been a long time coming.

Health Canada announced on Tuesday that cosmetic and product testing on animals will be banned nationwide, joining Europe, the UK, and South Korea in ending what is called a “cruel and unnecessary” practice.

The move is being welcomed by at least one animal welfare organization in B.C.

The BC SPCA says hundreds of thousands of animals will be saved each year from chemicals being forced onto their eyes or skin to see if it causes irritation.

Read More: Canada’s animal testing ban proposal applauded by humane societies

Nationally, the CEO of Humane Canada says the legislative change is a huge win and a result of what humane societies have been striving toward for more than 10 years.

“More than 20,000 of the most common chemicals or ingredients that are used in cosmetics today have already been well established to be safe on humans. So to continue causing pain and suffering and in some cases death for animals, it’s unnecessary,” Barbara Cartwright told CityNews.

Kaylee Astle is the CEO of Blanka,

Kaylee Astle is the CEO of Blanka, a company that helps other brands source cosmetic products that do not use animal testing. (CityNews Image)

The Health Canada announcement also comes two weeks after parliament passed a different bill aimed at ending toxic chemical testing on animals.

Keeping animals safe in the cosmetics industry is a particular focus for one Vancouver-based company. Blanka sources makeup for other brands to sell, only picking North American manufacturers that don’t test on animals.

“I’ve always lived a very focused plant-based lifestyle, and so it was really important to build a product line around cruelty-free sourced products,” said Kaylee Astle, the company’s CEO.

The cosmetics area in a department store.

The cosmetics area in a department store. (CityNews Image)

Astle says the Health Canada announcement is a good next step for the federal government because the agency already has strict rules surrounding what ingredients it allows in beauty and cosmetic products.

“There’s a ton of lab testing that happens first, like stability testing, microbial testing and it’ll go through a series of tests in labs before it would even move to a focus group of individuals,” she told CityNews.

“This is more of a statement to the world about the amazing manufacturing that’s happening in Canada and we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing that firsthand.”

A dog in a cage that is being subjected to the testing of cosmetics.

A dog in a cage that is being subjected to the testing of cosmetics. (CityNews Image)

Cartwright says moving forward, the federal government should support the development of more alternatives so animals don’t need to be hurt.

“Over time if anyone believes they need to test on animals, they will have readily available, inexpensive alternatives to use,” she said.

The federal ban will come into effect in December.

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