Washington State has become the 12th US state to ban the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals. In early March 2024, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed H.B. 1097, originally sponsored by Representatives Walen, Goodman, Leavitt, Ramel, Peterson, Fitzgibbon, Macri, Simmons, Reeves, Thai, Gregerson, Stonier, Pollet, Kloba, Santos, and Ormsby.

The new law says, “Beginning January 1, 2025, it is unlawful for a manufacturer to sell or offer for sale in this state a cosmetic if the cosmetic was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing that was conducted or contracted for by the manufacturer or any supplier of the manufacturer.” This prohibition does not apply to cosmetics whose final form was tested on animals before January 1, 2025.

Similar bans have already been passed in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Virginia, and in 45 countries laws have been passed that limit or ban animal testing for cosmetic products. In addition to state and national bans, many cosmetics companies have already ditched animal tests, including Lush, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Avon and L’Oreal.

Most US states still allow animal tests in cosmetic products, so animal protection organisations have championed for years the Humane Cosmetics Act that would ban animal tests nationwide. This federal Bill has been endorsed by the Personal Care Products Council, the trade association representing 90% of the US cosmetics industry, and more than 400 companies that have individually signed on to support this legislation. 

The US House Energy and Commerce Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has been urged to move this Bill forward by organisations such as the Humane Society of the United States. They said the following about the latest victory: “Through passing this ban, Washington lawmakers acted in a way that is consistent with their citizens’ interests in avoiding being complicit in animal cruelty when purchasing cosmetic products and in promoting testing practices that are more likely to keep them safe.”

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.