Voters in Switzerland will get to decide whether or not to ban human and animal testing in an upcoming referendum, the government says.
The federal government said on Friday that a petition in favor of a ban on animal testing received the minimum 100,000 signatures required to put the measure on the ballot.
The proposed legislation would ban the import and export of products that were tested on animals during their development. It would also allow the allocation of public funds — equivalent to the amounts used for animal testing in the past — for alternative testing methods.
However, the measure, if passed, would allow testing on animals and humans in the extenuating circumstance that it is in the “overwhelming interest” of a human or animal.
The date has not yet been set for the ballot. However, it is expected to take several months.
Switzerland is a direct democracy, which gives voters the ability to challenge existing laws through initiatives and vote in referendums about four times each year to determine policy.
Back in 2016, Switzerland banned cosmetics animal testing, following in the footsteps of the European Union after its cosmetics animal testing ban in 2009, which was extended to imports in 2013.
Consumers are increasingly demanding cruelty-free products as awareness around the harm done by animal testing grows.
As such, major companies like Procter & Gamble (P&G) have banned animal testing globally.
But in Switzerland, the “ban on human and animal experimentation” would go a few steps further and outlaw testing on animals for all other purposes as well.