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Virginia Became The 4th US State To Ban Animal Testing For Cosmetics

by Suzana Rose

Mar 23, 2021

Great news! The state of Virginia announced a ban on cosmetics that have been animal-tested. Virginia is now the 4th US state to ban animal testing for cosmetics after California, Nevada, and Illinois. This does not mean that all cosmetics sold in Virginia will be "cruelty-free", since cosmetics might still be tested on animals after manufacturing elsewhere in the world. However, it's a huge step in the right direction as we're closer to a worldwide ban.

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The Humane Cosmetics Act was signed in Virginia, making Virginia the 4th state to ban animal testing in the United States. This bill accomplishes two things by tackling both the manufacturing process as well as sale of products.

First, it stipulates that no cosmetic manufacturer is allowed to test ingredients or finished products on animals. This means that the brands themselves or their suppliers are not allowed to test on animals when products are being developped.

Second, it also forbids companies from selling products that are known to have been tested on animals. This means that cosmetics that you're able to buy in Virginia will likely not be tested on animals, however it does not mean that the brands or third parties won't be able to test the products on animals in other states or countries (for instance in mainland China, where animal testing for cosmetics is still in place).

The cut-off date is January 1st, 2022, meaning that the new bill takes effect on that date.

Here's the summary of the bill as it appears on the government of Virginia's website:

"Prohibits a cosmetics manufacturer from: (i) conducting or contracting for cosmetic animal testing that occurs in the Commonwealth on or after January 1, 2022, (ii)manufacturing or importing for profit into the Commonwealth any cosmetic or ingredient thereof, if the cosmetics manufacturer knew or reasonably should have known that the cosmetic or any component thereof was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing that was conducted on or after January 1, 2022; or (iii) beginning July 1, 2022, selling or offering for sale within the Commonwealth any cosmetic, if the cosmetics manufacturer knows or reasonably should know that the cosmetic or any component thereof was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing that was conducted on or after January 1, 2022. Violations are subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional $1,000 for each day the violation continues. The bill preempts any local regulation on cosmetic animal testing."

IMPORTANT NOTE: This does not mean that all cosmetics sold in Virginia, California, Nevada, and Illinois are "cruelty-free". There are exceptions, and brands are able to sell in mainland China and have their products tested on animals elsewhere in the word.

Regardless, this is a huge step forward for animal welfare. Animal testing bans are crucial in order to eradicate this practice around the world. There have also been recent updates in China which I'll discuss with you soon. In 2021, we're moving in the right direction when it comes to animal testing, and I want to thank each and everyone of you for shopping cruelty-free and contributing to this wonderful progress.

Click here if you'd like to read more information on Nevada's similar animal testing ban.

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