Virginia becomes 4th state to ban cosmetic animal testing

Illinois, California and Nevada have also banned cosmetic animal testing.

March 16, 2021, 3:52 PM

Virginia has now become the fourth state to put an end to cosmetic animal testing and sales of animal-tested cosmetics.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed the Humane Cosmetics Act, which prohibits cosmetics manufacturers from conducting or contracting for cosmetic animal testing in Commonwealth areas in or after Jan. 1, 2022. The law will also ban the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals for profit.

California was the first state to prohibit animal-tested cosmetics in 2018. Nevada and Illinois enforced similar laws in 2019.

Virginia's ban is a part of a larger effort to stop animal testing on a federal level. Rep. Don Beyer, who represents Northern Virginia suburbs, announced in a tweet that he would be reintroducing federal legislation to make it standard across the country.

Rabbits sit in cages after being liberated from a company that bred rabbits for laboratory testing in the U.K., July 10, 2000.
PA Images via Getty Images, FILE

"This fantastic news illustrates a growing momentum in efforts to end unnecessary testing on animals in the United States and around the world for products like shampoos, mascara and lipstick," The Humane Society of the United States said in an online post. "Consumers are scanning labels and demanding products free of animal testing, cosmetics companies are listening to them and changing their practices, and lawmakers are solidifying these changes into permanent policy."

Several other states including New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York may also pass similar laws.

On a global scale, efforts made by Humane Society International and its partners have resulted in 40 countries as well as member states such as European Union, Australia and Guatemala passing laws prohibiting or limiting cosmetic animal testing.