A huge animal rights victory has just been won in São Paulo, Brazil. Governor Geraldo Alckmin recently signed a bill that bans cosmetics testing on animals in the state. The ban covers both finished products and ingredients. Those caught breaking this new law will be subject to a $435,000 fine per animal. The fine will double for repeat offenders and the establishment can be closed temporarily or permanently.
You may wonder why it would be so significant for just one part of the country of Brazil to enact such a ban. The answer comes when we take a closer look at São Paulo’s biggest resident industry. According to a press release from Humane Society International, the State of São Paulo hosts more than 700 of the 2,300 cosmetics companies in the country, more than any other state in Brazil. “Brazil itself is a major player in the global cosmetics market, the third largest in the world and the biggest cosmetics market in Latin America with a 58 per cent share,” reports the Huffington Post.
The victory is attributed to the hard work of local activists, and comes after a large protest outside the Royal Institute in the São Paulo city of São Roque led to a raid on the lab, resulting in the liberation of 178 beagles. According to Governor Alckmin such direct actions had less impact on his final decision than the advice he received when meeting with animal rights activists, scientists, veterinarians and members of the cosmetics and perfumes industries.
As Care2′s Abigail Greer wrote on the topic recently, ”more and more scientists are taking a hard look at the relevance of animal experiments for human diseases and improving our lives. The evidence is showing that we can actually get much better answers about human health and develop much more effective therapies if we use human based tests instead.”
“Our causing animal pain and suffering to test cosmetics is unacceptable and it must stop. Be Cruelty-Free Brazil campaign for a complete ban has received huge public support and we applaud the groups in São Paulo who have fought hard for this victory for animals,” explained Helder Constantino, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free Brazil campaigns manager, in a press release. ”The ethical stance of the Brazilian public is very clear — Let this be the first step towards the whole of Brazil being cruelty-free.”
São Paulo’s animal testing ban follows in the footsteps of the EU, India and Israel who have already imposed similar restrictions. Activists hope that countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea who are currently considering animal testing bans, will follow suit.
If you‘d like to see the entire nation of Brazil adopt São Paulo‘s animal testing ban, please add your name to the petition below.
Image via Thinkstock
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