How well are Swiss animals protected?

Strict welfare legislation makes Switzerland one of the better places to have fur, fins or feathers. Here’s why. A basic principle of the law is that nobody – whether they’re farmers, butchers, pet owners or scientists – may “improperly subject an animal to pain, suffering, harm or fear”. In addition, the Swiss Animal Protection Act states that “when dealing with an animal, its dignity, i.e. its inherent worth, must be respected”. “Only Switzerland protects animal dignity at the constitutional level. Some other countries, like Liechtenstein and South Korea, have enshrined animal dignity in their laws to a certain extent,” says Katerina Stoykova of Swiss animal welfare group Tier im Recht. This provision helps shield animals in Switzerland from humiliation or major interference with their appearance or abilities. This could include making them drink alcohol, dyeing their fur or feathers, cloning them, or extreme breeding such as with “bubble eye” goldfish or hairless Sphinx cats.
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