Switzerland: 62% of people reject the proposal to toughen animal protection laws and ban factory farming

Switzerland wants to adopt stricter animal welfare regulations and ban factory farming, but a referendum on the issue has been rejected by Swiss citizens.

The proposal to make safeguarding the dignity of farm animals like cattle, poultry and pigs a constitutional obligation has been put to a referendum under Switzerland’s form of direct democracy, Reuters reports.

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However, the VoteInfo app, which uses data collected by the Federal Statistical Office on election results, showed a provisional result of 62.86% of votes against the proposal.

The government had also advised against the idea, saying such changes would violate trade agreements, increase capital and operating expenditure and raise food prices.

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According to the agricultural proposal, the government should have established stricter guidelines for the care and slaughter of animals. This would have included granting them access to the outdoors. The rules would also have applied to imported animals and animal products.

Fabrice Drouin, a resident of Geneva, told Reuters he voted no, because according to him if “there are farmers who do intensive farming with their animals”, they respect animal welfare.

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He added that the nation needs to practice factory farming, at least in part, in order to feed the population, “otherwise we won’t be able to eat meat.”

Another Genevan, Florian Barbon, who also voted against the initiative, said he thought “in general people are self-regulating” and that “I don’t think we need a legal framework for it”.

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