This evening, Maine governor Janet Mills signed legislation to prohibit the sale of cosmetics that have been newly tested on animals. Passage of this law will prevent the cruel and unnecessary use of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats to test cosmetic products and ingredients. Maine is now the sixth state in the country to pass a law to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, following California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia and Maryland.

“Maine has now joined the growing number of states that have acted to end the needless suffering animals endure to test cosmetics,” said Katie Hansberry, Maine state director for the Humane Society of the United States, which pushed for the legislation. “With many new methods for product testing, there is simply no need to harm any animals for the sake of lipstick or blush. Thank you, Representative Doudera for sponsoring this bill and Governor Mills for signing this important bipartisan legislation.”

State Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, sponsored the legislation, which was unanimously approved in committee.

Animals who are experimented on for cosmetics suffer through painful testing: Rabbits have chemicals dripped into their eyes, or rubbed onto their shaved skin. Guinea pigs and mice have substances smeared onto their skin to determine allergic responses. Rats are forced to ingest large amounts of chemicals to determine the “lethal dose” that eventually causes death. Pain relief is rarely provided and the animals are killed at the end of these experiments, usually by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.

Testing cosmetics on animals is cruel and unnecessary. Companies can already create innovative products using thousands of ingredients that have a history of safe use and do not require any additional testing. Plus, modern testing methods (such as human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models) have replaced outdated animal tests. These non-animal technologies are often faster, less expensive and more reliable. 

There is strong corporate support for ending cosmetics animal testing. Several companies selling cosmetics in Maine signed on in support of this legislation, including Lush, SaltyGirl Beauty, True North Beauty and One Earth Natural Food Store.

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