Making hay: Livestock may get constitutional rights in Switzerland

Voters in Switzerland are set to resolve whether or not to ban manufacturing unit farming and modify legal guidelines to grant animals the constitutional proper “to not be intensively farmed.”

Beneath a brand new proposal that shall be thought of by Swiss voters over the weekend, the nation could be required to implement legal guidelines that decrease animal stocking charges and restrict the importation of intensively farmed meat. The proposal has obtained blended help, with nationwide polling displaying that 52% of voters oppose the ban, whereas 47% help it.


Proponents argue a ban would shield the surroundings by lowering farms’ reliance on soya-based animal feed that has been linked to widespread deforestation. Animal rights teams have additionally championed the proposal, pushing for extra humane circumstances within the amenities the place animals are held.

“You possibly can preserve 27,000 chickens in a single barn, and their room to maneuver is in regards to the dimension of an A4 sheet of paper,” mentioned Silvano Lieger, managing director of Sentience Politics, an animal rights group that proposed the ban in 2018. “Pigs are stored in barns, too, as much as 1,500 per farm, with 10 pigs sharing the house of a mean parking spot. It isn’t potential to deal with animals in a dignified means in these circumstances.”

Nonetheless, opponents have argued the ban would negatively have an effect on the home manufacturing of meat and would fail to stop a budget importation of intensively farmed animals. Others have argued Swiss regulation already enforces strict welfare legal guidelines.

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About 80% of Swiss meat is produced domestically, in keeping with ProViande, the Swiss interbranch group for the meat trade. Nonetheless, some trade staff say the speed of importation would enhance drastically if the ban is carried out.

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