In a victory for animal welfare, Virginia has become the fourth US state to pass rulings against animal testing for beauty products.
This follows the signing of two bills into law by the state's governor Ralph Northam that would ban new cosmetics from being tested on animals and the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the state, starting from January 1, 2022.
This is the second time the Virginia legislature has taken action to restrict animal testing in favor of humane alternatives. In 2018, a bill in Virginia was signed into law to stop state testing facilities performing animal tests for cosmetics and household products when there is an approved non-animal test method available.
Worldwide, nearly 40 counties have so far passed legislation to prohibit or limit the testing of cosmetics on animals and it’s hoped many more countries will follow.
California became the first to prohibit the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in 2018, followed by Nevada and Illinois in 2019.
Across the US, six other states, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New York and Oregon, are considering passing similar laws, some of which passed the Senate and House of Representatives.
Network for Animals (NFA) described the news as “a step in the right direction” and said it shows the growing momentum to end unnecessary testing on animals but cautioned far more still needed to be done.
"This is good news and Virginia is to be congratulated, but the other states must urgently follow and introduce their own legislation,” said David Barritt of NFA.
"Those states that ignore animal cruelty should be aware that more and more voters oppose animal testing.”