After over 30 months of consideration, the Senate of Canada finally passed Bill S-214 which would ban cosmetic animal testing in Canada. While cosmetic animal testing is not mandatory in Canada, it is currently legal. But that will change if the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act comes into force in Canada. (You can also learn more about Bill S-214 in my post “Is Canada Going Cruelty-Free?“)
In December 2015, Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen introduced “Bill S-214: An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act” (also known as the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act). One year later, the Bill passed the Second Reading in the Senate and was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. In October 2017, the Committee unanimously voted in favour of Bill S-214 and presented its report to the Senate. On the evening of 19 June 2018, Bill S-214 was finally passed by the Senate. Bill S-214 would amend the Food and Drugs Act to prohibit:
- cosmetic animal testing in Canada
- the sale of cosmetics developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing
- the use of evidence derived from animal testing to establish the safety of a cosmetic product
Canadians Oppose Animal Testing
In May 2018, a petition containing the signatures of 630,542 Canadians calling for an end to cosmetic animal testing was delivered on Parliament Hill. This is the largest petition in nearly 70 years – since the 1949 petition to create the Canadian Bill of Rights! (See iPolitics article by Holly Lake here) Hopefully, the overwhelming support of the cosmetic animal testing ban by the Canadian public will facilitate the Bill’s swift adoption.
What’s next for Bill S-214?
Bill S-214 will now be sent to the House of Commons where it must undergo the same kind of process as it did in the Senate. After Bill S-214 is adopted by the House of Commons, it can receive the Royal Assent and become law.
“We have before us an opportunity to modernize our country. The time has come for the Canadian government to step forward and take action to prohibit animal testing and bring Canada into the 21st century. It’s our turn to be leaders on the world stage on an issue that has international ramifications for how we will be viewed in years to come.”
(Honourable Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen, speech delivered on 3 February 2016 in the Senate of Canada)
You can learn more about what Bill S-214 will change in practical terms in Canada here and you can also keep up with developments related to Bill S-214 here. And of course, feel free to send me any questions or comments you may have. I’d love to chat more about this!
**All opinions contained herein are my own. This analysis is provided for the reader’s personal knowledge only. It is not permitted to copy or reproduce any of the content in this post. This article is not meant to be relied upon as a comprehensive assessment of the issue.**