Switzerland is holding a referendum on whether domesticated animals should have a right to be represented by a lawyer, seeing the country potentially becoming a leading exponent of animal welfare rights.

“Humans accused of animal cruelty can hire a lawyer or get one assigned but animals can’t,” said Antoine Goetschel, a lawyer quoted in the Times “Which is where I come in.”

Antoine Goetschel was appointed an “animal advocate” in 2007 by the canton of Zurich, a scheme which has been a success according to many. Over 100,000 signatures have been raised to expand the expirment futher.

However the government and farmers unions are against the idea, fearing it will lead to increased legislation.

A pet insurance expert from PetInsuranceIreland.com comments “Looking after animals is extremely important. We should do everything we can to improve the welfare of both pets and farm animals – who are all too often the forgotten victims of cruelty.”

Photo copyright Steve Punter

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2 Responses to “Swiss hold referendum on pet lawyers”

  • Maria King says:

    Unfortunately, due to the increasing incidence, Nationally, of animal cruelty, in the wake of the spiralling economic crisis in which Ireland has found itself, for at least the past two years (2008 – Present); the range, and rate, of incidents of animal cruelty has increased exponentially

    I myself, in a low income estate, in a most scenic area of Ireland; returned home from an emergency stay in hosptital, to learn that the partner of a local single mother, people who had grown up in my immediate neighbourhood, had, quite casually, while driving up a culdesac (where I live), only one street from their in-laws house, mowed down a young and much loved male cat of mine…my cat’s sin? Well, he existed, and they have only a pet dog. Then, there was the fact that the cat attempted to cross the two lane street to the safety of my front garden, only to be left mashed on the curbside of my foot path, as the cat nearly made a safe arrival at my cottage, but, when the boyfriend of my neighbour decided to execute a complete turn on the culdesac where I live, in order to exit the estate…he executed Sabastian, the four year old gentle cat I loved, just as they were exiting, in their four wheel drive, young father, young mother and 11 month old baby, the estate, in which the young mother’s family live…talk about good values to teach a growing infant! Hey honey: look at the pretty kitty…see if the pretty kitty can outrun our SUV, see if the pretty kitty can avoid being mashed on the residential road, where the speed limit is 30KM per hour, and the vehicle in question, witnessed by neighbours, was driven at least the speed of 55KM per hour… When the infant who was in the cat-mashing vehicle grows up…I for one, will inform them of their daddy’s values…and that their daddy cannot say anything other than “shit” everytime he exits his SUV, when I am walking nearby…he’s incapable of expressing remorse, or regret, for taking an innocent animal’s life…just so he could show off his shiny SUV!

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  • admin says:

    That’s a really sad story Maria. We can only hope that one day people place more value on the lives of animals.

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