Today, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed H.B. 1097 into law. The legislation will prohibit the sale of cosmetics in Washington 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 if they are sold in the state of Washington.

Animals who are experimented on for cosmetics suffer horribly through painful testing. Terrified rabbitsguinea pigsmice and rats have substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes or smeared onto their skin. Widely condemned "lethal dose" tests are still performed, in which rats are forced to swallow large amounts of chemicals to determine the dose that causes death. At the end of these tests, the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation. Pain relief is not provided.

“Washington has become the latest state to take a stand against the use of painful animal tests for cosmetic products like shampoo, aftershave and mascara by passing legislation to end the sale of cosmetics that have been subject to new animal testing,” said Dan Paul, Washington state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “With an ever-increasing number of non-animal methods available, there is no excuse to continue to rely on cruel and outdated animal tests. We thank Rep. Amy Walen for her leadership on this issue and Gov. Inslee for signing the bill into law. Now we must ensure that Congress moves quickly to pass the federal Humane Cosmetics Act to provide a consistent standard for ensuring an end to cosmetics animal testing nationwide.”

Washington has now become the 12th state in the country to pass a law to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics following California, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Virginia. The state laws closely mirror the provisions of the federal Humane Cosmetics Act, and we urge U.S. House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to move the federal bill now that her home state has passed the law.

Testing cosmetics on animals is both cruel and unnecessary because 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 Plus, modern testing methods (such as human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models) can replace outdated animal tests. These non-animal technologies are often faster, less expensive and more reliable predictors of human safety.

There is strong corporate support for ending cosmetics animal testing. Several companies selling cosmetics in Washington provided testimony in support of this legislation, including Lush Cosmetics, rue Santé, and Thrive Causemetics. The Humane Cosmetics Act has the endorsement of the Personal Care Products Council, the trade association representing 90% of the US cosmetics industry, in addition to more than 400 companies that have individually signed on to support this legislation.

Media Contacts