09 March 2010

Voters in Switzerland say no to lawyers for animals

Animal rights groups in Switzerland proposed a referendum that would have provided state-funded legal representation for animals but voters rejected the measure soundly this past Sunday.

Approximately 70% of the vote was against the proposal designed to mandate the hiring of animal lawyers in each of the country’s 26 cantons. According to reports, increased taxpayer burden and opposition from Switzerland’s farming lobby played a major role in the referendum’s failure.

But don’t feel too bad for the animal population of Switzerland, as the country is already known for its strict animal welfare legislation. In 2008, a law was passed granting rights to any animal classified within a “social species.” The law requires fisherman to complete a course on how to catch fish humanely, prospective dog owners must pay for and complete training courses, flushing live goldfish is not permitted and horses must go in twos.

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Photo Credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/97373666@N00