Humane societies and SPCAs celebrate watershed moment as Canada officially phases out toxic chemical testing on animals. 

By Kristina Koehn Merchant, Marketing and Communications Manager, Humane Canada 

June 14, 2023 Ottawa, ON – Humane Societies and SPCAs across Canada are celebrating the passage of Bill S-5, Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act on June 13, 2023, which sets Canada on a clear path to eliminating toxic chemical testing on animals through important updates to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.  

“The government’s landmark decision to enshrine the replacement and reduction of animal-based toxicity testing and require the use of non-animal alternatives is a significant milestone in our country,” said Dr. Toolika Rastogi, Senior Manager of Policy and Research at Humane Canada.  

Humane Canada, its partners, and diligent champions in Parliament who worked hard for these amendments, have all been instrumental in ensuring this bill addresses animals, to end their suffering once and for all. The new law will better protect the environment and human health, and sets Canada on the path to phase out toxicity testing by 2035.  

Toxicity testing is the most harmful use of animals in science, impacting hundreds of thousands of animals in Canada each year. Bill S-5 is the first piece of Canadian legislation that sets out the goal of eliminating animal toxicity testing, with substantive requirements to achieve progress, including to use, develop, adopt, and promote non-animal testing methods for testing. 

“Together with the ban on cosmetic testing that will be enacted when the budget bill is passed, Canada is showing its leadership in creating a more humane future where animals are no longer subjected to the pain and suffering of testing,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of Humane Canada.  

Bill S-5 has received third and final reading in the Senate and will now receive Royal Assent. Once passed, it will prohibit:

  • testing cosmetics on animals in Canada;
  • selling cosmetics that rely on animal testing data to establish the product’s safety, with some exceptions; and, 
  • false or misleading labelling pertaining to the testing of cosmetics on animals. 

The federal government’s commitment to end animal testing is a watershed moment for both animals and the animal welfare sector alike in Canada, as the country joins the ranks as a global leader in developing cruelty-free alternatives. 

For more information on Humane Canada, click here.

Main Photo: Shutterstock/Oliavvvesna