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Despite Impeachment, Congressman Beyer is Finding Success With Animal Testing Bill

AP Photo / Cliff Owen

Washington may be bitterly divided over impeachment. But, the tension over President Trump is also providing an opportunity for bipartisan action against animal testing.

Congressman Don Beyer has long been an advocate for animal rights, and now he’s working on a bipartisan bill to outlaw cosmetics testing on animals. The bill comes as Democrats are moving forward with impeaching the president, although Beyer says he’s been working on this for years.

“One of the most important things to realize is that the cosmetics industry does not oppose this," Beyer explains. "This is something that they have understood is a long time coming, and even some in the cosmetics industry have asked us to do this because by making it the U.S. law it sets an international standard.”

While the news coming out of Washington has been dominated by headlines about impeachment, Congress has actually been moving forward on a number of late-year initiatives — everything from protecting labor in international trade to limiting robocalls.

Republican Senator Martha McSally of Arizona has introduced the Senate version of Beyer’s bill. 

“We all love a nice face cream and some nice cosmetics. But the bottom line is that they don’t need to be tested on animals anymore," says McSally. "And several companies have just continued to do that unnecessarily, which is extremely cruel.”

The Humane Cosmetics Act would ban animal testing on these products and the sale of any cosmetics tested on animals. If passed by both the House and Senate, it would take effect one year after enactment.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.