A growing number of U.S. states are considering a ban on the sale or import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, as advocates argue testing products such as lotions, shampoos and makeup on rabbits, mice and rats is cruel and outdated.
The cause has gained support from consumers and many cosmetics companies, but the biggest hurdle is China, which requires that cosmetics sold in its large, lucrative market undergo testing on animals.
California, Nevada and Illinois all saw new laws take effect this year that ban the sale or import of animal-tested cosmetics.
The laws, which apply to tests performed after Jan. 1, aren’t expected to cause much disruption for the industry because many companies already use non-animal testing. Instead, they draw a line in the sand that puts pressure on the U.S. government to pass a nationwide ban and help end China’s requirement that most cosmetics sold in that nation of more than 1.4 billion people undergo testing on animals by Chinese regulators.