One Step Closer to a Cruelty-Free Canada: Bill S-5 Passes Senate

Bill S-5, the Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act, has passed in the Senate and is now being sent to the House of Commons. The exciting new bill could help end toxicity tests, which are some of the worst and most painful forms of animal experimentation!

Each year in Canada, tens of thousands of animals suffer in toxicity tests for product safety and other reasons. These tests cause severe pain, extreme distress, and often death. Animals are often burned or wounded without pain relief, forced to eat deadly substances, or have harmful chemicals spread on their skin.

Animal Justice has been active in leading a coalition of organizations asking Senators to improve the bill. When it was originally proposed, the preamble to the bill mentioned the importance of reducing, refining, and replacing the use of animals in toxicity testing, but the bill didn’t do anything to actually accomplish this.

The new version of the bill lays out the roadmap for Canada to become a leader in phasing out animal testing, and promoting and helping to develop alternatives. It would:

  • Impose a duty on government to encourage and incorporate alternative methods to animal testing
  • Empower the government to make regulations about how non-animal testing should be done
  • Prevent governments from using animal testing to make decisions about whether a substance is toxic, unless there’s no animal-free alternative
  • Publish a plan within the next two years to promote the creation and use of animal-free testing methods.

The bill was approved on June 22, 2022 by the Senate, and in the fall when Parliament returns from summer break, it will move to the House of Commons for more study and debate. We hope it will become law as soon as possible.

End Toxicity Testing Cruelty

Canada is falling far behind other developed nations when it comes to protecting sensitive animals like rabbits and mice from the horrific cruelty they endure every day in laboratories. A number of industry groups pushed hard to have the Senate reject all changes to the bill, but thankfully they failed in this attempt.

Animal Justice lawyers are working tirelessly to pave the path for a cruelty-free future, but we can only continue this mission with your support. Donate now and make a difference for animals in Canada.