Little bite in new animal protection law

The revised animal protection law that came into force on Monday has been criticised by Switzerland's main animal rights group as not going far enough.

This content was published on September 1, 2008 - 20:06

Sheep, goats and horses are seen as the main benefactors of the new rules since their handling and treatment is covered by guidelines for the first time.

Other improvements, according to the organisation, Swiss Animal Protection (STS), are the introduction of a six-hour limit for transporting livestock, guidelines for the proper handling of dogs and cats and a ban on practices such as the castration of piglets without the use of anaesthesia.

However, the organisation complained that dairy farmers would continue to be allowed to keep their cattle tied up in stalls for 240 days of the year.

The STS also argued that the phasing out of tie-stalls for horses over five years was too long.

And zoo animals such as rhinoceroses are allowed in winter to be confined in quarters measuring only 25 square metres.

The STS said while circuses in neighbouring Austria are banned from keeping wild animals the practice is still permitted in Switzerland.

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