Agriculture
 

The goal: Utmost animal output

From an animal protection perspective, for decades now, the housing and handling of farm animals has been a permanent topic – even if significant improvements could be achieved for the animals. Over the course of the years, resourceful technocrats developed innumerable animal husbandry and management systems in order to achieve maximum yield in as little time as possible, involving as little space and as little personnel as possible and thus ensuring that the huge demand for meat, milk, and eggs can be met. Although, according to surveys, Swiss consumers desire animal-friendly products, today, a trend towards a move away from animal-sound useful animal production can be made out.

 

Millions of production units guarantee profits in the millions

Approx. 8.5 million hen, 1.6 million cattle and 1.54 million pigs were held in Switzerland in 2008. Most of these animals belong to peak performance species that are prone to diseases, have short life spans, and thus need to be replaced rapidly. Animal production is therefore also a profitable business for intermediate trade. Thanks to the influential farmer’s lobby, every year, billions of Swiss Francs in direct payments and other contributions are paid to the producers and to the second tier foodstuff industry.

 

If quantity instead of quality determines market conduct, animal well-being often suffers. Farm animals are mainly kept in compliance with the prevailing laws but usually, the animal’s natural requirements are not adhered to. The Swiss Federal Animal Protection Act remains insufficient with regard to farm animals, and the Swiss Federal Animal Protection Ordinance only stipulates adherence to minimum standards. Animal-appropriate production is limited to a handful of labels with high requirements towards animal housing and handling

 

Acting and not resigning or giving up is what counts

As consumers, with our purchasing behavior, we can exert influence and foster animal-friendly production by supporting farsighted farmers who have the best interest of the animals in mind. As citizens, we have to vote against agricultural policy that increasingly consumes tax money and simultaneously does little or nothing at all to promote animal well-being. As an animal welfare organization, we consider it our task to name those parties who constantly slowdown or block animal protection in agriculture. Simultaneously, we encourage research into the field of useful animal holding.

 

 

Animal well-being as a chance

© B. Trachsel


 

Additional information

Additional information only available in German (here). Our apologies.