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Animal welfare Initiative launched to end factory farming in Switzerland

Sheep in a pen

If the initiative is accepted, the government must define criteria for animal-friendly housing and care.

(Keystone)

Animal rights groups and environmental organisations launched a popular initiative to ban intensive, large-scale livestock farming on Tuesday. They have 18 months to collect the required 100,000 valid signatures.

The “No factory farming in Switzerland” initiative calls for a constitutional amendment that will affect animal husbandry practices in Switzerland.

The initiative hopes to put an end to questionable conditions for livestock in Switzerland, such as confining ten pigs in a pen the size of a car parking spot, reported the Swiss News Agency on Tuesday.

Animal dignity

The initiative aims to put a brake on the increasing trend towards large-scale farming, high-productivity breeding and production optimisation, according to the groups behind the campaign.

They hope to achieve these objectives by amending article 80a of the Federal Constitution.

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The government must protect the dignity of animals within the animal husbandry industry, which includes the right not to live in intensive, large-scale livestock farming conditions that systematically violate animal welfare, the organisations wrote.

If the initiative is accepted, the government must define criteria for animal-friendly housing and care, ensure access to the outdoors, as well as limit the maximum number of animals kept in a barn.

It would also need to create further regulations for importing animal products for food purposes.

The maximum transition period for implementing the initiative would be 25 years.


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