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Virginia bill backed by Cruelty Free International signed into law

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Virginia Governor signs bill making non-animal tests used for cosmetics and cleaners

Virginia has become the fourth state in the US to make it required by law for non-animal alternatives to be used for testing cosmetics and household products. Laboratories in Virginia must now use alternatives to animals for testing cosmetics and household products whenever they are available.

The bill, backed by Cruelty Free International, is the first of its kind to be passed in the US in over 10 years. Virginia joins California, New Jersey and New York in passing such a law.

In her testimony to support the bill our North America Campaign manager Monica Engebretson wrote: “Bill HB 1087 reflects public expectation for the humane treatment of animals and would be consistent with existing laws concerning animals. Under existing law, a person who intentionally causes undue pain or suffering to an animal is guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor. There is no doubt that animals subjected to chemical tests experience extreme pain and suffering prior to death. Unfortunately, without a clear regulatory mandate to implement modern non-animal methods, hundreds of animals could legally be used each year in painful tests that have scientifically valid, humane alternatives. Avoiding animal pain and suffering in such tests should be a legal requirement, not merely an option.”

The bill was introduced by Delegate Jennifer Boysko and signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam last week.

Unlike in Europe there is no national US law that means available non-animal tests must be used in favour of animal tests so, it’s up to individual states to act.