Starting January 1, 2022, the state of Virginia will no longer allow animal testing or the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. Thanks to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam — and other kind and dedicated Virginians — the Virginia Humane Cosmetics Act became law this month.
Senator Jennifer Boysko and Delegate Kaye Kory introduced the bill. Its passage makes Virginia the fourth state in the U.S. to make a law prohibiting cosmetic animal testing.
“This fantastic news illustrates a growing momentum in efforts to end unnecessary testing on animals in the United States and around the world for products like shampoos, mascara and lipstick,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF). “Consumers are scanning labels and demanding products free of animal testing, cosmetics companies are listening to them and changing their practices, and lawmakers are solidifying these changes into permanent policy.”
For vegans and anybody else who cares about animal suffering, this act makes shopping much easier. Instead of trying to read the tiny print on a tube of eyeliner, consumers will be able to get straight in line with their purchases, saving both time and eyestrain.
In 2018, California became the first state to pass a law banning animal testing for cosmetics. The California law makes exceptions for cosmetic ingredients that the USDA requires testing for because of health concerns, or if regulatory compliance is called for by a foreign authority. Nevada passed a cruelty-free cosmetics act in June 2019, and Illinois followed in August 2019. Six other states are considering their own cruelty-free cosmetic acts: Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island.
The movement is picking up steam all over the world as more and more consumers start asking exactly what’s in that lipstick and if animal suffering is really necessary for human beauty. “Cosmetics animal testing is simply not needed to ensure the safety of cosmetics for human use,” Amundson said. “In the case of new ingredients, many non-animal test methods have been, and continue to be, developed that are as effective — or even more effective — than animal tests have been.”
Image via Anna Sulencka