Cosmetic Animal Testing Banned in São Paulo, Brazil Following Lab Raids

by Rabbit / Earth First! Newswire

Activists liberate beagles from testing labs at the Royal Institute of Brazil. Photo: Green is the New Red

Activists liberate beagles from testing labs at the Royal Institute of Brazil. Photo: Green is the New Red

The Brazilian state of São Paulo has announced a ban on animal testing for cosmetics, perfume, and personal care products.

The ban follows an intense campaign by animal rights activists to shut down the animal testing industry in the region. On October 17, 2013, a large protest outside the Royal Institute in the São Paulo city of São Roque lead to a raid on the lab, resulting in the liberation of 178 beagles. In early November the animal testing lab announced that it was permanently shutting down. Apparently lacking faith in the lab and local government to find adequate homes for the animals inside (and perhaps wanting to do a little more damage while they still had the chance), masked activists returned to the Royal Institute a week after its announced closure, tying up guards while they liberated animals and destroyed equipment. Over 300 rats and mice were removed, research equipment was destroyed, and vehicles were vandalized.

As the Huffington Post reported today, a ban on animal testing for cosmetics has the potential to have a real impact on the industry: “[São Paulo] hosts more than 700 of the 2,300 cosmetics companies in the country, more than any other state in Brazil. And Brazil itself is a major player in the global cosmetics market, the third largest in the world and the biggest cosmetics market in Latin America with a 58 per cent share.”

São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin didn’t attribute the testing ban to a successful animal liberation campaign. He did state that the decision was made after meeting with animal rights activists, as well as scientists, veterinarians and members of the cosmetics and perfumes industries. Animal liberators are not the only ones who’ve been putting pressure on the government and cosmetics industry to do away with animal testing. The Humane Society’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign has been appealing to law-makers in Brazil, and has aided in animal testing bans in Europe and Asia.

This recent victory demonstrates the power that the combined efforts of above- and underground activism can have on animal exploitation industries. These tactics should be emulated in all fights for animal liberation. In the United States, groups like the Coalition Against Fur Farms and PETA have been putting increasing public pressure on the fur industry, and ALF cells popped up to take action against fur farms in record numbers this summer. Let’s not look at this victory in Brazil as the end of a story, but rather a beginning. Together, with a diversity of tactics, we can put the final nail in all animal exploitation industries.

 

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