New legislation in Canada advances likelihood of animal testing ban

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (dbvirago)
© Getty Images \ (dbvirago)
On Friday, Conservative MP Marylyn Gladu (who represents Sarina—Lambton, Ontario) moved to have a bill read that would effectively ban the sale and manufacture of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients tested on animals. Advocates are calling this legislative move a promising first step towards such a ban in Canada.

In proposing the bill, MP Marylyn Gladu addressed the Speaker of the House of Commons, saying, “Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House and table Bill S-214. I want to thank Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen.

“This bill proposes to eliminate animal testing of cosmetics. A number of organizations have worked with me to bring the bill forward, including the Humane Society, the Animal Alliance of Canada, the Cosmetics Alliance Canada, Cruelty Free International and Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.

“These organizations have worked to bring forward seven amendments, which would be needed as we study the bill further. The amendments have to do with ministerial powers, responsibilities and definition of manufacturers and importers responsibilities and a clarity for testing to sell in other countries.

“I am very pleased to bring this forward. This would make us the 40th country to consider such legislation and would bring us into alignment with Europe and California.”​ (This, according to a transcript of the MP’s remarks on​.)  

Industry advocacy

As Gladu mentions in her remarks, beauty industry trade associations like the Cosmetics Alliance Canada as well as brands operating with a conscious business strategy like Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics have been key in the movement to enact new laws and regulations regarding the practice of animal testing.

Working in partnership with advocacy group Cruelty Free International, The Body Shop Canada (a Natura-owned brand) has been a part of the push for new legislation too, having collected “over 700,000 signatures [in 2018] from Canadians opposed to cosmetic animal testing – the largest petition in 70 years….The Body Shop proudly coordinated a Pet March, and travelled to Parliament to hand-deliver the petition,” ​according to a press release circulated by the brand.

“We are pleased to see Bill S-214 introduced in the House of Commons,”​ Toby Milton, general manager of The Body Shop Canada, says in the release, adding, “We hope all political parties will support this legislation. Canada is closer than ever to finally achieving a ban on the sale and manufacture of animal tested cosmetics.”

And Monica Engebretson, North American Campaign Manager for Cruelty Free International, is hopeful following Friday’s reading of Bill S-214 as well: “Ending animal testing is consistent with international precedent and would align Canada with the European Union, one of the world's largest cosmetics markets,”​ she says.                      



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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