Factory Farming Initiative

On the 25 September 2022 the Swiss electorate will vote on the Factory Farming Initiative.

Summary

Current situation

Switzerland's legislation on the protection of animals is amongst the strictest in the world. The dignity and welfare of animals are protected, regardless of how many animals are kept in one place. The Confederation also encourages forms of agricultural production that are particularly close to nature, environmentally friendly and animal-friendly. This is required under the Constitution. More and more farm animals live in specially animal-friendly pens and have regular access to the outdoors.

The proposal

The initiative wants to make protecting the dignity of farm animals such as cattle, chickens or pigs a constitutional requirement. It also aims to ban factory farming because it systematically harms the welfare of animals. The federal government would have to set stricter minimum requirements for animal-friendly housing and care, access to the outdoors, slaughtering practices and the maximum group size per pen. These requirements would have to meet the Bio Suisse standards for 2018 as a minimum, and all farms would have to comply with the new rules in their animal husbandry. The requirements would also apply to the import of animals and animal products as well as foods with ingredients of animal origin. This would be in breach of agreements with important trading partners. It would result in higher investment and operating costs, costly inspections of foreign farms and an increase in the price of food of animal origin.

Last modification 02.08.2022

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https://www.admin.ch/content/gov/en/start/documentation/votes/20220925/factory-farming-initiative.html