New Jersey Bans Sale of Makeup Tested on Animals

A rabbit receiving treatment at a veterinary laboratory.

A rabbit receives care at a veterinary laboratory. Cosmetics companies that do animal testing have traditionally used rabbits to measure eye and skin irritation. NiDerLander / iStock / Getty Images Plus

With a list of more than 1,000 cosponsors supporting the bill, New Jersey has now banned the sale of cosmetics that are tested on animals.

The new law, S1726, follows seven other states with similar bans as the public shows more interest in cruelty-free products.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill on November 8 after it passed unanimously in the State Senate and Assembly. First introduced in February 2020 by state Senators Joseph Lagana and Nellie Pou, the new bill is slated to go into effect in March 2022.

“Animal tests for cosmetics are frequently painful and harmful to the animal,” the law states. “Furthermore, alternative testing methods, such as the use of engineered human tissue and the use of computer models, are often cheaper and more accurate than animal testing, in addition to being cruelty-free.”

The bill follows multiple studies showing widespread, bipartisan support from Americans, who want to end the practice of animal testing. A 2019 study by Cruelty Free International showed that 79% of respondents supported cruelty-free practices. Another survey from The Humane Society of the U.S. found that over 67% of respondents want an end to animal testing and would prefer researchers to find alternatives to testing cosmetics and other personal care products.

“In the passage of this law, New Jersey has recognized overwhelming public opinion that animals should not suffer to test cosmetic products or ingredients,” said Vicki Katrinak, director of Animal Research and Testing at The Humane Society, as reported by Plant Based News. “With a growing number of non-animal test methods available, there is no ethical justification to continue harming animals for the sake of shampoo, mascara, or aftershave. Thank you to Assemblyman Verrelli and Senator Lagana for their leadership on this bill and Governor Murphy for signing this important bipartisan legislation.”

The new bill is an expansion of a previous New Jersey law that banned cosmetics animal testing within the state wherever there were valid alternatives available. S1726 bans the sale of animal-tested cosmetics within the state, even if the products are made elsewhere.

Violations of the law will incur a fine of up to $1,000 per offense.

Now, eight states — California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and Virginia — have banned animal testing in cosmetics. The Humane Society of the U.S. is also working to get the Humane Cosmetics Act passed, which would ban the sale of cosmetics made with animal testing and would end the act of animal testing nationwide.

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