Further to our December update following our letter to the new Health Minister, Cosmetics Alliance and a delegation from our allied stakeholder coalition met with Health Canada officials on January 19th to discuss a cosmetics animal testing ban in Canada. We were very encouraged to learn that HC is actively working on the details to implement this policy initiative to end cosmetic testing on animals – in keeping with the Prime Minister’s recent mandate letter to the Minister of Health.
From the detailed information shared with CA and the stakeholder delegation, HC’s proposed approach is consistent with the proposals advanced by our group and is based on the following three fundamental points, namely that the initiative in Canada should:
- align with the cosmetics animal testing ban in the European Union,
- fit within the Canadian regulatory framework so that it is workable, and
- be drafted by Health Canada to avoid unintended regulatory consequences as well as have the support of the Government.
There remains much work ahead for government including drafting the memorandum to take to Cabinet for approval, drafting the legal text and choosing the appropriate legislative vehicle (stand alone legislation or as part of a larger bill). This will then be followed by introduction into Parliament, three readings, possible committee hearings, and finally passage in both the House of Commons and Senate. It will also be important for our allied stakeholder coalition to vocalize our collective support with opposition parties and Senate caucuses to assist the Government in securing passage.
As the International Congress on Alternatives to Animal testing is being hosted in Canada at Niagara Falls, Ontario, in August of 2023, it is expected that the Government will want to have this initiative completed by that date,
As CA members are well aware, animal testing to support the sale of cosmetics is virtually non-existent in Canada. Nonetheless, the passage of a ban in Canada would finally put the issue to rest in this country and help to advance similar bans internationally – as well as help to reduce in the use of animals in safety assessments generally.
CA will continue to keep members updated on developments.