STATEWIDE — Virginia has gone cruelty-free with a new cosmetics law that goes into effect New Year’s Day.
As of Jan. 1, it is unlawful for a cosmetic manufacturer to conduct animal testing for cosmetics in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The announcement comes from Cruelty Free International, one of the world’s longest standing animal protection organizations and authority on animal testing issues.
Introduced by Senator Jennifer Boysko and Delegate Kaye Kory, the law also prohibits the sale of any new cosmetic product that contains ingredients that were tested on animals after Jan. 1. The sale prohibition will take effect in July 2022.
The state joins California, Illinois, Nevada, Maine, Maryland and Hawaii in ending the sale of new animal-tested cosmetics. New Jersey will also become a cruelty-free state in March.
Over the last several years, Boysko and Kory both worked to make Virginia a cruelty-free state before the bill was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam back in March.
In 2018, Virginia became the fourth state in the country to require by law that non-animal alternatives be used for testing cosmetics and household products whenever they are available, which Boysko also introduced.
Also in 2013, Virginia Congressman Jim Moran introduced the first federal Humane Cosmetics Act. His successor, Congressman Don Beyer, has since championed the legislation with bipartisan and bicameral support, reintroducing it in both the Senate and the House in December.
“Animal testing for cosmetics is cruel and unnecessary and is deeply unpopular with the public,” Boysko said. “My bill will help to ensure that animals are not harmed for cosmetics sold in Virginia, thus meeting consumer demand, saving animals, and helping the US match global progress on this issue.”
Cruelty Free International hopes that this will lead to the federal Humane Cosmetics Act being passed, as over 40 countries worldwide have ended the sale of new animal-tested cosmetics.
Ryan and Mallory Phillips, owners of Life With Pigs Farm Animal Sanctuary in Williamsburg, said that they are “thrilled that Virginia is taking a step towards protecting animals.”
“As a farm animal sanctuary, we hope for a world where all animals are treated kindly and fairly,” Ryan and Mallory Phillips said in a joint statement to WYDaily. “It sends a clear message that more and more people are in favor of showing animals more kindness and less cruelty.
“We are very hopeful here at Life With Pigs that this is a clear sign that the future is the one nearly all humans support morally, a world where animals are respected as sentient beings with wants and desires of their own that are worthy of our respect,” they added. “And all those supporting this new bill protecting animals from cosmetic testing can be proud knowing they chose the right side of history.”