In a blog on the Huffington Post website, Monica Engebretson, North American campaign manager at Cruelty Free International, said she hopes the enduring competitive relationship between the US and neighbouring Canada will lead to quicker consensus on the issue.
“Wouldn’t it be great if the US and Canada could use some of that competitive energy to see which could end cosmetics testing on animals first?” she wrote.
Legislation that would prohibit cosmetic animal testing has been introduced and is being considered in both the US and Canada.
The Humane Cosmetics Act, which prohibits testing cosmetics on animals, was introduced to the House of Representatives in June 2015.
It also states that no cosmetic may be sold or transported in the US if the final product or any ingredient was produced using animal testing.
Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act
Canada followed suit in June 2015 with the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act. Introduced in the Canadian Senate in December 2015, the bill would see the “cosmetic animal testing and the sale of cosmetics developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing” become illegal.
Before becoming law in the US, the Humane Cosmetics Act must pass through the House of Representatives and Senate before being signed off by the President. Similarly, the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act must be given the go-ahead by the Canadian Senate and House of Commons.
In any case, it is a “long way to the finish line” for both, said Engebretson.
Introduction of company bills
To speed up the process, she suggested the introduction of companion bills - similar or identical legislation that can be simultaneously considered in lower and upper houses - in Washington and Ottawa.
“In each country the process could be sped up if companion bills are introduced in the opposite house. Canada would need a House version, and the US would need a Senate version – this would make it more of a relay race,” she added.
“Personally, if it were a cruelty free legislation competition between the two countries, I’d have to root for both sides because at the end, no matter who gets there first, the animals win.”