How far should animal protection law go?
On 7 March, there is to be a referendum in Switzerland on the current law. If passed, the amendment would require every canton to have an
animal lawyer - whose official job it is to represent animals who are victims.
Both the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian focus on the only current animal lawyer, Antoine Goetschel in Zurich. The Guardian on the 2008 Act:
A dwarf rabbit, for example, must be kept in a hutch no smaller than 50cm x 70cm, with 40cm headroom. They must also have a nest box, or
the "ability to dig". (Curiously, gerbils are accorded more head room than rabbits.) The new rules for dogs are even more exacting. Dogs
are deemed "social animals" and, therefore, "must have daily contact with humans, and, as far as possible, with other dogs". If kept in
outdoor kennels, they must be "chain free" for at least five hours a day and kept in pairs, or with other "compatible animals". It says
they must be walked daily, but the act fails to specify for how long or how far (which has angered some campaigners). And all prospective
owners must now complete a four-hour "theory" course before buying a dog then complete a further four...