Languages
Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Sunday, 7 March 2010

Switzerland rejects move to provide lawyers for animals

By Imogen Foulkes
BBC News, Geneva

Dogs
Opponents argued that Switzerland had enough animal protection laws

Voters in Switzerland have rejected a proposal to introduce a nationwide system of state-funded lawyers to represent animals in court.

Animal rights groups had proposed the move, saying that without lawyers to argue the animals' case, many instances of cruelty were going unpunished.

But the measure was rejected by around 70% of voters in a referendum.

Opponents had argued that Switzerland did not need more legislation. The government had opposed the idea.

Voters were almost certainly swayed by worries about how much such a system might cost taxpayers, and by objections from Switzerland's farmers already struggling with reduced subsidies and falling milk prices.

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.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific