The bill was introduced by US Representatives Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Don Beyer, D-Va., Joe Heck, R-Nev., and Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif and has been supported by the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
Although testing on animals for cosmetic and personal care products is often claimed to be a rare practice in the US, the legislation aims to bring the country in line with a growing list of countries worldwide that have already introduced such legislation, including all EU countries and Israel.
Animal testing still legal in the US
The senate bill and the campaign aim to make it a stipulation in US law that animal testing is expressly forbidden in any laboratory in the US, which includes both cosmetic ingredients and finished products.
The Humane Society also asserts that contrary to claims that animal testing is not widely carried it in the US, it believes that thousands of animals continue to be subjected to testing in the country for both ingredients and finished products.
It says that animals such as mice, rabbits, rats and guinea pigs continue to have substances forced down their throats, as well as being subjected to painful eye and skin testing.
Campaign led by #BeCrueltyFree USA
The campaign has been headed up by the London-based global organization Humane Society International under the #BeCrueltyFree USA name, which has been designed to give it a higher profile specifically with the added impetus of social media campaigning.
"Testing cosmetic chemicals for lipstick and shampoo on live animals isn't just morally indefensible; it also makes poor scientific sense because these animal tests have never been proven reliable to assure human safety,” says Claire Mansfield, HSI's #BeCrueltyFree campaigns director.
“Hundreds of brands produce cosmetics without harming a single animal, and more than 30 countries globally have already banned such testing, so it's time for the United States to catch up and join the #BeCrueltyFree movement."