Animals Hire Lawyers?

by Mary Haight on February 18, 2010

Swiss Cantons (akin to States) are voting on alloting more animal lawyers to prosecute abuse cases. They vote because the Canton pays. Yes, they take animal abuse pretty seriously!  Of course, not everyone is happy that pigs, horses, dogs, cows and cats get represented in court.  Even the lawyer who represented a fish wanted to keep that one of his approximately 200 cases a year away from the water cooler crowd.

The Swiss Farming Association are none too happy, while the Swiss dog breeding association is all for it, noting that animals are not objects to be paraded in fashion shows or brought up in cities without proper exercise.

Swiss Animal Protection forced this nationwide vote, concerned that authorities don’t take animal abuse seriously.  Given the 20% rise in reported abuse cases from 2007 to 2008, enough citizens agreed to get it on a ballot. According to the report from Associated Press, the constitution bans keeping pigs in single pens and birds alone in cages.  Dogs must get training, and it will be illegal to tie up horses in their stalls effective 2013.  The vote is March 7.

As I was scanning this news, I was thinking about yesterday’s blog, looking for root causes to cut kill rates at shelters.  What would the lives of dogs look like if professional  training for both caretaker and dog was an automatic part of all adoptions and not optional?  While I realize it might be one added expense too far, if there are any foundations out there still giving out sizable grants, why not look at this issue as the determinant of whether adopted animals stay in the home or are given up or returned to the shelter? Could be a really successful program. What do you think?

Read the rest of the story at the LATimes


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  1. […] National animal advocates will not be unleashed on offenders any time soon in Switzerland. Instead of having Antoine Goetschel, the lone animal lawyer paid by Canton Zurich to represent animals in abuse cases, animal acivists thought all 26 Cantons should offer this public service.  Theoretically  more lawyers would help get more abuse cases prosecuted. But the voters, knowing they lead the pack on animal rights, had heard an earful on a recent abuse case brought to the bench regarding a fish. […]

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