Monday, March 8, 2010

Look on the Bright Side... (There is a Bright Side!)

Well, it's official. In Switzerland's animal rights referendum, 70 percent of voters voted "no" on a measure that would assign lawyers to protect abused animals. If you do the math, that means that 30 percent of voters supported it.

It was probably too good to be true.

But when you think about it, it's amazing that such a referendum even made it to the ballot. It speaks so highly of the Swiss.

No point in getting discouraged. Switzerland still has extremely tough laws that protect animals. Just the fact that its citizens were able to vote on such a referendum sets an important precedent. The next time a similar referendum comes up - either in Switzerland or a different country - it won't be quite so unusual.

Meanwhile, those who inflict excessive cruelty on animals face very stiff punishments in Switzerland. Of how many countries in the world can that be said?

(Note: Antoine Goetschel, attorney and Zurich's leading animal advocate, is pictured here with a friend.)


  1. Absolutely: the very existence of such a referendum is hard to fathom from North America, and, as you say, 30% support seems not just respectable but remarkable.

    Similarly encouraging, though, is the lawsuit just filed by Ontario Nature and Ecojustice against the Consilium Place complex in Toronto where, year after year, hundreds of birds meet their ends. Hopefully this case will set a precedent in Ontario.

    P.S. Thank you so much for linking to Animals in Canada -- I really appreciate it!

  2. Thank you for your comments. And keep up the great work, David! I read your Blog all the time and I'm a big fan.