Swiss Cows Won't Lawyer Up: Voters Nix State-Funded Lawyers for Animals

By Andrew Moseman | March 8, 2010 3:25 pm

Swiss_CowBetween the beautiful scenery and legally mandated good treatment, animals have it pretty good in Switzerland. They could have had it even better, but over the weekend the country’s people decided that the country’s animals didn’t need their own state-funded lawyers.

Yes, Switzerland is so animal-friendly that this question actually came to a vote. The courts in Zurich already have a representative, Antoine Goetschel, who is responsible for taking up the cases of cats and horses and sheep. And this weekend the Swiss voted on a referendum that would have expanded this system to cover the entire nation. However, 70 percent of people voted no.

It seems that worries over costs to taxpayers, as well as the objections from farmers, convinced the Swiss that their existing animal rights laws were good enough. From BBC News:

Switzerland already has some of the strictest animal welfare legislation in the world.

Pigs, budgies, goldfish and other social animals cannot be kept alone; horses and cows must have regular exercise outside in summer and winter; and dog owners have to take training courses to learn how to care for their pets.

And let’s not forget that the Alpine nation recently mandated that researchers who want to work with genetically engineered plants must first explain to an ethics panel why the work won’t destroy the plants’ dignity.

Related Content:
80beats: University, Fearing Animal Rights Violence, Axes Baboon Study
80beats: After a Firebombing, “Pro-Test” Rallies in Support of Animal Research
80beats: Great Apes Have the Right to Life and Liberty, Spain Say

Image: Wikimedia Commons / Chris Hartford

  • Art

    I hope plants don’t have dignity. We would have some things to reconsider.

  • Katharine

    My take on this is that the Swiss are pretty solidly crazy if they think plants have the same ethical status as animals.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »