Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to ban intensive farming in a referendum held on 25 September to ascertain whether or not Switzerland’s strict animal welfare laws must be additional tightened.
Provisional ends in the referendum, run in response to the Swiss system of direct democracy, confirmed that 62,86% of voters have been in opposition to the proposal to enshrine the safety of the dignity of cattle resembling cattle, chickens and pigs within the nation’s structure.
In keeping with Time journal, Switzerland already had a number of the strictest animal welfare laws on the planet, with many of those launched by the direct democracy instrument of standard initiatives.
“Its lengthy historical past of animal safety legal guidelines dates way back to 1893, when a well-liked initiative made it unlawful to slaughter animals with out first anaesthetising them. In 1978, the nation handed the Animal Welfare Act, which prohibits inflicting ache on animals with out justification.
“[…] and in 1996, [it] became the first country in the world to outlaw battery cages for laying hens,” the report mentioned.
These sorts of initiatives have been being seen throughout Europe and the US, the place a rising concern for animal welfare was going hand in hand with elevated consciousness of the affect of agriculture on the atmosphere, particularly with regard to local weather change.
The Swiss referendum adopted sizzling on the heels of a regulation launched in Spain in August requiring video surveillance inside abattoirs to make sure greatest practices have been being adopted.
Shortly afterwards, in early September, the Dutch metropolis of Haarlem banned ads for meat, Time mentioned.
Within the US, Arizona turned the most recent state to ban battery cages for hens, and a petition calling for the same measure within the EU, led by the Compassionate World Farming organisation, managed to safe the mandatory a million signatures from residents throughout the 27 member states to “trigger a proposal from the European Commission next year”.
Time reported that Alice di Concetto, founding father of the European Institute for Animal Legislation and Coverage, mentioned that the European Fee could be utilizing the chance of the cage proposal “to revise all EU farm animal welfare laws.
“So, there are other measures that hopefully will be included”, resembling stopping chick grinding, a standard methodology used on egg farms to kill male chicks quickly after they hatch, in addition to new limitations on the transportation of livestock for slaughter, she mentioned.
Trade analysts have been, nevertheless, describing the truth that Switzerland was taking the lead in trying to eradicate intensive farming as “quite ironic”, when contemplating the 32 000-head feedlots the place over 40% of the meat consumed within the US have been produced.
By comparability, the common dairy farm in Switzerland had simply 24 cows (in contrast with 300 within the US and 250 in Germany).
Nevertheless, supporters of the initiative mentioned that over the previous 20 years, the common Swiss farm had elevated in measurement, and a few elements of the welfare laws had both been watered down or left unenforced.
Kurt Brunner, who farms 40km west of Zurich and was supporting the initiative mentioned he had seen what the rising consolidation of farms and the commodification of their merchandise had meant for farmers and the animals they increase.
“The bigger farms in Switzerland are not so sustainable; neither environmentally nor economically,” he mentioned.