On Sunday, 25th September, Switzerland votes for the proposal of the Federal Constitution, involving restrictions on factory farming. The proposal involves rules to reduce the number of animals in farms and the provision of enough space for them in the farms. Switzerland will be the first country to introduce such rules. And while people want both the security of animals and meat, these rules will prove to be adverse economically, for those who own such animal farms. This issue is persisting in many countries of Europe.
The movement asking for the reduction in consumption of meat has gained an increased momentum because of the augmenting tensions related to animal welfare and the effects of farming on the environment. 14.5% of the greenhouse gases in the world are emitted because of animal-rearing activities. And due to inflation and the increase in electricity rates, demand of chicken has increased. Chicken’s demand has also increased because of the ill-effects of beef on the environment and health.
In Switzerland, many strict laws revolving around animal welfare are already in place. Slaughtering animals without anesthesia is banned in the country since 1893. It is not allowed to hurt any animal physically without a valid reason since 1978. There is a ban on boiling live snails. In 1996, Switzerland had become the first country to prohibit keeping hens in joint-cages. Denmark had made a similar announcement this week.
The proposed rules also include farm animals to be made to walk outside, farm animals to be given sufficient space, limiting the number of animals in a farm, and turning the process of transporting them and slaughtering them, more humane. Not more than 100 pigs will be allowed in one pen. Time will be provided to implement the new rules and if the rules are not followed, the farm will have to be shut down.