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Mexico has officially banned animal testing for cosmetics, making it the first country within North America to do so. It comes after a multi-year campaign spearheaded by Humane Society International (HSI) and local activist groups, which garnered strong support after the release of HSI’s celebrity-backed animated film Save Ralph.
Mexico has now banned animal testing for cosmetic products, becoming the first country in North America to enact the law. Globally, the country is the 41st country to implement such a ban, which also outlaws the manufacturing, importing and marketing of cosmetics that have been tested on animals elsewhere in the world.
The ban comes after years of campaigning by HSI and its Mexico arm, as well as regional animal welfare group ONG Te Protejo. Together, the activists championed the #BeCrueltyFree Mexico movement, calling for an end to the unnecessary and cruel practice of animal testing in the beauty and cosmetics industry.
In a joint statement welcoming the Senate’s decision to pass the ban, the groups said: “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.”
HSI Mexico executive director Antón Aguilar added that the Mexican government has showed “leadership on this important issue”, setting an example for other countries to follow suit.
“This is a monumental step forward for animals, consumers and science in Mexico, and 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,” said Aguilar.
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Support for the ban picked up speed after HSI’s recent release of Save Ralph, a stop-motion animated film that tells the story of a rabbit facing animal testing in a toxicology lab. The film, which garnered more than 150 million social media views and 730 million tags on TikTok, managed to generate over 1 million petition signatures in Mexico to put pressure on politicians to outlaw the practice.
Save Ralph featured a star-studded cast, with Taikai Waititi, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn and Ricky Gervais among some of the celebrities in the film.
Commenting on the success of the movie in driving awareness and legislative momentum in Mexico, actress Rosario Dawson, who voiced the character Bonnie in the Spanish version of Save Ralph, said she was “delighted to lend my voice” and “could not be more proud to see the impact.”
HSI says that it hopes with the historic North America first that Mexico has led, more countries across the region will soon be putting an end to animal testing in cosmetics as well. Currently, 7 states in the US have passed similar laws, with New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York now also on the list to consider a ban.
Lead image courtesy of Alamy via The Scientist.