TIERethik - Zeitschrift zur Mensch-Tier-Beziehung


Animal Protection in Swiss Criminal Law Practice 2011: An Analysis by the Foundation for the Animal in the Law (TIR)
Gieri Bolliger, Michelle Richner & Christine Künzli



2011 more offences against animal welfare than ever before have been investigated in Switzerland. A review from the Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (Foundation for the Animal in the Law / TIR) shows that especially the cantons of Berne (250), St. Gallen (235) and Zurich (207) present high numbers of criminal proceedings in animal welfare (law). However, there are many cantons in Switzerland where cases of animal abuse are not been forcefully prosecuted. Crass differences in execution can be found with cases concerning livestock. The complete disregard for the ban of pain breeding enshrined in animal welfare law has to be considered a national scandal. This ban has prohibited the selective mating of animals since 2008 if hereditary affliction is likely to occur in the offspring. In spite of the unequivocal legal situation, pain breeding still is the order of the day in Switzerland and not one criminal procedure to hinder this has been held to date. For this reason, the TIR has handed in criminal complaints against seven fallible breeders and demands clear processes of execution in all cantons.


Keywords: criminal proceedings in animal welfare law, animal welfare law, execution, pain breeding ban