Animals /

Florida Lawmaker Proposes Outlawing the Sale of Animal-Tested Cosmetics

The bill also outlaws dogs putting their heads out of car windows and declawing cats

A Democratic lawmaker in Florida has proposed making it illegal for a dog to have any part of its body outside of a car and to sell cosmetics that have been tested on animals.

State Senator Lauren Book proposed the Humane Cosmetics Act in order to protect animals’ welfare.

The bill, SB 932, bans people from holding “a dog in his or her lap” or “in such a position as to interfere with the person’s control over the driving mechanism of a motor vehicle while the person is operating the motor vehicle on a public roadway.”  

This includes allowing a dog to be in front of the driver while in a car on a public roadway. It also includes permitting a dog to “extend its head or any other body part outside a motor vehicle window while the person is operating the motor vehicle on a public roadway.”

If the amendment is passed, Florida drivers would be barred from transporting dogs “on the running board, fender, hood, or roof of a motor vehicle, in the trunk of a motor vehicle, or in an enclosed motor vehicle space intended for cargo” or in trailers being towed by their vehicles. 

Book has proposed requiring people who transport dogs to put their dog in an “appropriate size” crate or in a harness or pet seat belt – excluding neck harnesses. Her bill would also allow drivers to transport dogs if they are “under the physical control of a person other than the operator of the motor vehicle.”

Drivers of pickup trucks would need to put their dogs in crates in their truck beds if they want to transport the animals via a public roadway. The crate must “have good footing, protection from inclement weather, protection from direct sunlight, and adequate ventilation.” It also must be “large enough to allow the dog to turn around normally, stand and sit erect, and lie in a natural position” and be secured to the truck.

Violating the new regulation could result in a noncriminal traffic infraction.

In addition to regulating how animals are confined in cars on public streets, Book has proposed banning declawing cats except for therapeutic purposes. Veterinarians who violate the policy will face disciplinary action as decided by the Board of Veterinary Medicine. Anyone else who declaws a cat for non-therapeutic purposes can face a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation. 

The Humane Cosmetics Act prohibits cruelty to animals, including “excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering” as well as “manufacturing, importing for profit, selling, or offering for sale” cosmetics that were tested on animals. 

Under the ban, it would be illegal in Florida to “manufacture, import for profit, sell, or offer for sale a cosmetic developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing conducted or contracted by the manufacturer or any supplier of the manufacturer.” Violation of the proposed law would be punishable by a “civil penalty of $5,000 and an additional $1,000 for each day he or she continues to violate” the law.

The bill mandates the creation of a public online database of people who have been convicted of abusing animals, with details about their violations and the penalties. The database would need to be created by July 1, 2024.

“No animal should have a cosmetic product shoved down their throats, slathered on their skin, or forced in their eyes when there are cruelty-free alternatives,” Senator Book told Florida Daily in January. “The federal government does not require animal testing for cosmetics and toiletries and it’s time that Florida joined with this common-sense solution to suffering.”

Book first joined the Florida Senate in 2016. She currently serves as the Senate Minority Leader. The Florida chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed Book for the position.

“Senator Book has been an exceptional leader. If Florida wants to stand a chance at resolving the environmental issues in front of us, we need to elect more leaders like her,” said Luigi Guadarrama, the chapter’s Political Director. “It’s well known that Senator Book has been a champion for Florida’s families and children—protecting Florida’s environment is an important part of that.”

If passed, the Humane Cosmetics Act would take effect on July 1, 2023.

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