In a significant victory for animal welfare and the promotion of cruelty-free practices, Oregon has recently passed two groundbreaking bills. The first bill, HB 2915, puts an end to the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores, aiming to dismantle the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline. The second bill, HB 3213, bans the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. These progressive measures position Oregon as a leader in championing the well-being of animals and encouraging ethical practices in the pet and cosmetics industries.
“Oregonians believe in a better world for animals. These measures mitigate suffering in puppy mills and animal testing laboratories, and help people keep their pets through challenging circumstances,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are eternally grateful to Rep. David Gomberg, Rep. Courtney Neron, and Sen. Deb Patterson for championing these bills and share in this celebration with our dedicated coalition partners and advocates throughout the state.”
The End of Puppy Mill Sales
Oregon’s HB 2915 is a vital step towards eradicating the inhumane practices associated with puppy mills. This legislation prohibits pet stores from selling puppies and kittens, ultimately phasing out these sales altogether. By doing so, Oregon aims to redirect the local pet market towards more humane sources such as shelters, rescues, and responsible breeders.
The passage of HB 2915 makes Oregon the seventh state to take a stand against the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline, joining the ranks of Washington, California, Illinois, New York, Maryland, and Maine. This collective effort demonstrates a growing recognition of the need to prioritize the well-being of animals and ensure that they are not treated as mere commodities.
Kelly Peterson, the Oregon State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, expresses gratitude to the lawmakers who championed this bill: Rep. David Gomberg, Rep. Courtney Neron, and Sen. Deb Patterson. Peterson acknowledges the collaborative effort of coalition partners and advocates throughout the state who have worked tirelessly to mitigate the suffering experienced by animals in puppy mills.
“With thousands of existing ingredients with a history of safe use and a growing number of non-animal testing methods available, there is no justification for the continued use of animals to test cosmetics,” says Peterson.
A Cruelty-Free Future for Cosmetics
In a significant stride towards ethical consumerism, Oregon has also passed HB 3213, which prohibits the sale of cosmetics that have been subjected to new animal testing. This legislation aligns Oregon with over 30 countries and 10 states, including California, Hawaii, Illinois, and New York, that have already banned the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals.
The cosmetics industry has traditionally relied on animal testing to ensure product safety. However, major players in the industry, such as Aveda, LUSH, Bath & Body Works, Tom’s of Maine, Alba Botanica, and The Body Shop, have recognized the flaws and cruelty associated with this practice. These companies have transitioned to cruelty-free practices, using alternative testing methods that are both reliable and humane.
Carleen Pickard, the Advocacy and Activism Manager of Lush Cosmetics, commends the proposed ban on animal-tested cosmetics. She firmly believes that animal testing for cosmetics is an outdated and crude model that no longer has a place in modern society. With a wide range of existing ingredients with a proven history of safe use and the availability of non-animal testing methods, there is no justification for continued reliance on animal testing.
Protecting Pets in Challenging Circumstances
Oregon’s commitment to animal welfare extends beyond the pet and cosmetics industries. The state legislature has approved $1 million in funding through the Emergency Housing Account Fund to improve accommodations for pets in homeless and domestic violence shelters. This funding addresses the barriers faced by individuals and families with pets, ensuring that they can access safe shelter and life-saving resources in times of crisis.
Kelly Peterson emphasizes the importance of including pets in these bills, as it honors the deep bond between humans and animals. By allowing individuals experiencing homelessness or intimate partner violence to shelter safely with their companion animals, Oregon recognizes that for many, the path to safety begins with their beloved pets.
Oregon’s progressive legislation serves as a model for other states and countries to prioritize animal welfare and promote cruelty-free practices. By banning the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores and prohibiting the sale of cosmetics tested on animals, Oregon is taking a firm stance against inhumane practices.
The passage of these bills demonstrates Oregon’s commitment to creating a better world for animals, mitigating suffering in puppy mills, and advocating for the use of alternative testing methods in the cosmetics industry. With these groundbreaking measures, Oregon paves the way for a future where animals are treated with compassion and respect, and consumers have access to cruelty-free products.
As other states and countries witness Oregon’s success, it is our hope that they will follow suit, ensuring that animals are no longer subjected to unnecessary harm and exploitation. Together, we can create a world where animals thrive, protected from cruelty and injustice.
Photo credit for Feature image: British Heart Foundation have funded highly invasive experiments on dogs. Credit Ben Mason via Flickr