Mexico has made history as the first country in North America–and the 41st in the world–to ban cosmetic animal testing.
The federal bill gained unanimous support from Mexico’s Senate. The new law also bans the manufacture, import, and marketing of cosmetics tested on animals anywhere in the world. The ban will come into effect in two years.
Antón Aguilar, executive director of the nonprofit Humane Society International/Mexico, which championed the bill, says: “We thank the Mexican Government for showing leadership on this important issue, and we will continue to work with them to implement the commitments and enforce a robust ban.”
Aguilar adds that the ban could pave the way for a similar ban in the Americas. Cosmetic animal testing has been banned in 41 countries across the world, including Colombia as well as 10 states in Brazil, and seven in the United States. These include California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, and Virginia. Similar laws are pending in three states: New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York. Federal bills are also pending reintroduction in the U.S. and Canada.
The path to Mexico’s ban on cosmetic animal testing
Humane Society International/Mexico and ONG Te Protejo, an organization based in Santiago, Chile, that promotes the use of cruelty-free cosmetics, implemented a multi-year campaign across Mexico called #BeCrueltyFree. “We are thrilled to see Mexico become the first country in North America to outlaw cosmetic animal testing, and commend our bill sponsor Senator Ricardo Monreal and all congressmen and women for voting to end cosmetic animal testing in Mexico,” says the groups.
According to HSI, the legislative motion was strongly influenced by its star-studded stop-motion animation film Save Ralph about a rabbit (voiced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi) who has survived cosmetic animal testing, but at the price of hearing in one ear and sight in one eye. The Spanish version of the film stars comedian George Lopez as Ralph and Rosario Dawson as Bonnie, another rabbit. “I was delighted to lend my voice to Humane Society International’s campaign to abolish animal testing for cosmetics, and could not be more proud to see the impact of #SaveRalph in leading Mexico to become the first country in North America to go cosmetics cruelty-free,” says Dawson.
Kat writes about susainable food, fashion, and food technology. They have a BA in Cinema and Culture Studies from Stony Brook University.