Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Swiss Law

New Swiss law protects rights of 'social' animals
Bojan Pancevski

It is a world in which the goldfish are never lonely, the dogs are always obedient and the guinea-pigs are never tormented by children.

Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos.

From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a “social species” will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind.

The creator of this animal Utopia is the Swiss federal parliament, the Bundesrat, which adopted a law this week extending to four legs the kind of rights usually reserved for two. The law, which comes into force from September 1, is particularly strict over dogs: prospective owners will have to pay for and complete a two-part course — a theory section on the needs and wishes of the animal, and a practice section, where students will be instructed in how to walk their dog and react to various situations that might arise during the process. The details of the courses are yet to be fixed, but they are likely to comprise about five theory lessons and at least five sessions “in the field”. Read More

Many animal rights activists have used examples from Europe to tell lawmakers and consumers their side of the story of how the United States should do things. Well, now Swiss residents have some new laws to obey. All of their pets must have friends. Human companionship isn’t enough. And farmers and ranchers will be subject to even more regulations. If you don’t want this in this country, you had better be willing to start telling your story and nip this problem in the bud. And it begins this November in California.

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