About half a million animals die each in animal testing and 40 countries have passed laws banning cosmetic animal testing and now Mexico joins that list. A federal bill won the unanimous support of Mexico’s Senate making the country the first in North America to ban animal testing in cosmetics. The law also bans the import, manufacture, and marketing of cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world. A 2019 poll commissioned by Humane Society International and ONG Te Protejo found that 78 percent of Mexican citizens prefer cruelty-free cosmetics and the two organization united in a campaign for the bill spanning a few years.
“We are thrilled to see Mexico become the first country in North America to outlaw cosmetic animal testing, and commend our bill sponsor Senator Ricardo Monreal, and all congressmen and women for voting to end cosmetic animal testing in Mexico,” they said in a joint statement.
The success of the bill is attributed largely to the success of HSI’s stop-motion animated film Save Ralph, the story of a rabbit tester enduring the painful ramification of his “job”. The HSI film went viral worldwide, with more than 150 million social media views, over 730 million tags on TikTok, and generating more than 1.3 million petition signatures in Mexico while accumulating 13 million views on Youtube for the English version. The film shows some of the real tests the animals endure like having chemicals rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into their eyes while restrained, without any pain relief. The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol that guarantees no new animal tests were used in the development of the product.
Actress and advocate Rosario Dawson, who voiced Bonnie in the Spanish version of the film, added: “I was delighted to lend my voice to Humane Society International’s campaign to abolish animal testing for cosmetics, and could not be more proud to see the impact of #SaveRalph in leading Mexico to become the first country in North America to go cosmetics cruelty-free.”
Mexico joins seven states in the U.S. to have banned animal testing including California, Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois, as well as ten states in Brazil. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a database with info on the companies that do and don’t test on animals proving there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made but this is considered a huge step for the Americas. “This ground-breaking legislation leads the way for the Americas to become the next cruelty-free beauty market, and brings us one bunny-leap closer to a global ban,” Antón Aguilar is the executive director of Humane Society International/Mexico said in a statement.