Swiss government gives animal welfare a boost

Campaigners submitted the collected signatures to the Federal Chancellery last September, in a bid to force a nationwide vote on their initiative. Keystone/Peter Klaunzer

The government wants enshrine animal dignity in the Swiss constitution, but it has come out against a more detailed  proposal by rights groups. 

This content was published on January 29, 2020 - 15:36

A constitutional amendment is to be drafted by the government which would be put to voters to have the final say, according to the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office.External link 

“The government in principle welcomes the aims of the initiative (…) and wants to set the criteria for animal-friendly accommodation, regular access to outside areas and appropriate conditions for the slaughter,” a statement  said. 

However, the government said the initiative by the animal rights group, which wants to ban factory farming and sets strict rules including on the import of animal products, was too radical. 

Last September, campaigners submitted more than 100,000 signatures to the authorities forcing a nationwide ballot on the issue. A date for the vote is still to be set, following discussions in parliament. 

A separate initiative aimed at banning animal experiments also collected the necessary number of signatures last year to force a nationwide ballot at a later stage.

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