OTTAWA, April 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada is positioned to become the world’s 40th country to prohibit cosmetic testing involving animals following today’s introduction of the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act (Bill S-214) into the House of Commons. The bill was passed by the Senate and has been introduced by Conservative Shadow Minister for Health Marilyn Gladu. The bill is a product of years of advocacy led by Humane Society International, Animal Alliance of Canada and Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, with backing from more than 750,000 Canadians from coast to coast.

The Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act was first introduced in June 2015 by Conservative Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen in close cooperation with HSI Canada and Animal Alliance. HSI has also been at the forefront of the global public policy shift toward cruelty-free cosmetics, spearheading legal reforms in the European Union, India, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Guatemala, and most recently Australia, with similar legislation in development in the United States, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

Troy Seidle, HSI Vice President of Research & Toxicology, said: “As a proud Canadian I could not be more pleased to see my country move a step closer to becoming a cruelty-free beauty market. In 2019, with the vast array of established cosmetic ingredients and animal-free approaches to safety assessment, there’s simply no excuse for continued reliance on animal testing for cosmetic products or ingredients.”

Mark and Karen Wolverton, co-owners of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, North America, added: “The time has come to get cruelty out of cosmetics and listen to the 88 percent of Canadians who oppose animal testing for cosmetics. We know that our millions of customers who support Bill S-214 will take this issue with them to the polls this fall and will elect leaders who legislate on their behalf. We believe that animal testing for cosmetics is not acceptable or relevant and perpetuates the suffering of animals.”

Liz White, director of Animal Alliance of Canada, added: “We urge the Canadian government to act quickly and pass this crucial legislation to prevent any more animals from suffering needlessly. We look forward to working with officials to see Canada join other nations in taking a stand against cruel cosmetics by enacting the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act.”

Gladu added: “Protecting animals has always been a cause that I care deeply about and I am pleased to sponsor this bill so MPs can debate this important issue.”

Polling by The Strategic Counsel on behalf of Animal Alliance of Canada and HSI found that 88 percent of Canadians agree that testing new cosmetics is not worth the animals' pain and suffering, and 81 percent would support a national ban on animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients.

For interviews and more information, please call or email media contact below.

Media contacts:

Humane Society International/Canada: Christopher Paré, o: 514-395-2914 x 206, c: 438-402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

Animal Alliance of Canada: Liz White, 416-809-4371, email: liz@animalalliance.ca

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics: Eva Cook, 604-562-4428, email: pr@lush.com

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world's largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide - on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

Animal Alliance of Canada is committed to animal protection through politics, advocacy and education. Since 1990, Animal Alliance of Canada has been committed to the protection of all animals and the promotion of a harmonious relationship among people, animals and the environment. Bringing together dedicated professionals with proven records in animal and environmental protection, together we work on local, national, and international educational and legislative advocacy initiatives to protect animals and our environment. Online at animalalliance.ca.

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics are purveyors of good, clean fun. They offer luxurious and ethical skincare, haircare and bath products, as well as unique gifts filled with fragrant and effective products. Never tested on animals, every single Lush product is vegetarian, and about 85 percent are vegan, 40 percent preservative-free and 35 percent unpackaged. Lush supports Fair Trade, Community Trade and charitable initiatives, and follows the simple policy: have the least possible impact on the environment while still producing beautiful and effective products.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f41a5afd-0d16-4c8f-9881-e8453a1396dd