Which Countries Have Banned Cosmetic Animal Testing in 2022?

October 31, 2022

The good news is that increasingly more countries are banning animal testing on cosmetics. The bad news is that it’s not a global standard. Here are the countries that treat animals with a bit more respect and kindness.  

 In 2022, 42 countries worldwide have banned or restricted cosmetic animal testing, including all 27 countries in the EU, Australia, Colombia, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The Impact of the EU in Banning Animal Testing on Cosmetics

Global animal testing ban on cosmetics

The European Union had a massive role to play in changing animal testing policies on cosmetics – and it happened long before you think!

Did you know that the EU was already taking steps toward this action in 1993?

The first provisions also included a ban on all marketing strategies of cosmetics tested on animals.

Unfortunately, the ban wasn’t realistic at the time because the implementers didn’t have an alternative method of testing… yet.

Here’s their timeline to victory:

  • 2004: Alternatives to animal testing improved, and the EU was able to pass an official ban on animal testing on finished products was introduced.
  • 2009: The EU enforced a ban on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients and the marketing of animal-tested finished products.

    But animal testing was still allowed in cases of repeated-dose toxicity, toxicokinetics, and reproductive toxicity.
  • 2013: The EU officially puts a sales ban on all cosmetics tested on animals!

The 27 countries that have banned animal testing on cosmetics in the EU include the following:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

How Did Brexit Affect The UK’s Animal Testing Ban on Cosmetics

It wasn’t clear how Brexit would affect its animal testing ban on cosmetics – but we were all pleasantly surprised at the result!

The UK government promised everyone they would uphold the ban even after their exit.

But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear if you live in the UK! Here are the most important things to be aware of: 6 Must-Know Animal Testing Facts in the UK (2021)

Non-EU Countries that Banned Animal Testing on Cosmetics

Countries that borrowed a leaf from the UK and became cruelty-free in the field of cosmetics include:

Australia, Colombia, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Here are some interesting facts: 

  • India is one of the few Asian countries with a strong culture revolving around cruelty-free cosmetics. The government eventually gave in to immense pressure from the Union Minister and PETA India to ban animal testing on cosmetics.
  • New Zealand’s animal testing ban on cosmetics comes after years of lobbying from animal rights groups in the country. And parliament showed great support by voting in support of the bill.

Countries That Are Implementing the Ban (USA Included) 

Some countries that are currently in the process of developing legislature to ban animal testing on cosmetics include:

  • USA
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Ukraine
  • Japan
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Russia

Is the USA Close to Banning Animal Testing on Cosmetics?

Since the EU imposed the ban on animal testing, we all expected the USA (which has one of the world’s largest economies) to take the same steps.

And it’s safe to say they’re listening.

More and more states in the USA are embracing the ban on the sale and import of cosmetics tested on animals.

The cause has gained massive support from consumers and cosmetic companies.

But the main hurdle US states face is China.

You see, China requires all cosmetics sold in its large and lucrative market to undergo animal testing.

Luckily this hasn’t stopped states like Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, and California from imposing the ban. Well done for putting ethics over profits!

The ban became effective on January 1st, 2020.

Animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States and Cruelty-Free International hope to convince more states to pass the bans.

But you still need to be a vigilant consumer to ensure the cosmetics you buy are cruelty-free in the US.

Here are the most important things to remember: Everything You Need To Know About US Animal Testing Regulations

Why Japan Cannot Pass The Bill Yet

Japan is in a strange situation because there aren’t any laws that ban or require animal testing on cosmetics.

But cosmeceuticals (cosmetic pharmaceuticals) must undergo animal testing.

Unfortunately, research shows little awareness about animal testing in Japan. As a result, the government is reluctant to offer the necessary support.

Luckily, it hasn’t stopped animal rights activists from educating the masses about animal cruelty.

We’re hoping Japan may be among one of the countries that team up with the others that have banned animal testing in the future.

Brazil is In A Similar Position As The USA

8 out of 26 states in Brazil have successfully banned cosmetic animal testing.

The country is slowly moving in the right direction, similar to the USA.

The states that have banned animal testing on cosmetics include Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Amazonas, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso du Sol, Pará, and Paraná.

While this is a great start – we’d like to see how the other states progress.

Why does China still require animal testing?

Many countries worldwide would argue that their primary hurdle in adopting the animal testing ban is the Chinese legislation.

Since animal testing is a prerequisite for all imported cosmetics here, it poses a significant risk to every country that relies on its lucrative market for business.

Imposing such a ban means different countries have taken China off their cosmetic market, which can significantly affect their economy.

The good news is that China is also among the countries slowly moving towards a cruelty-free approach.

  • In 2017, Zhejiang FDA set up a non-animal testing lab in China. The following year, the China Working Group for the Validation of Alternative Methods was launched. These are steps in the right direction.

    But wait… There’s more.
  • Cruelty-Free International and KnudsenCRC launched the Leaping Bunny Pilot Project. This enables cruelty-free brands to produce and sell cosmetics in China without testing on animals before selling to the country.
  • Recently, France was also exempt from animal testing on all ordinary cosmetics exports, which means many countries can potentially follow suit soon.


In only one year, millions of animals die in animal testing practices, and those that survive go through torture and pain, all in the name of production.

It’s disgusting what we put other living creatures through – especially when there is no longer a need.  

The sad part is that some of the tests don’t reflect how the products will work on humans, meaning the animals are in pain for no reason.

Stopping animal testing is everyone’s responsibility.

Choosing cruelty-free personal-care products may not seem like a big deal. Still, we can use this movement to make significant strides towards imposing a worldwide ban.

If there’s no market for the products, animal testing won’t be necessary.

So, are you joining the fight?

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