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Animal Welfare and Cultural IssuesBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Switzerland - Animal Welfare and Cultural Issues
Farming and angling is also regulated to ensure that the treatment of farm animals and fish is humane. Sadly there are however cases of animal abuse and illegal practices, and animal rights groups continue to campaign for these to be stopped. Animal cruelty is treated with proper seriousness in Switzerland and you need not hesitate to report it. Animal protection services (e.g. Swiss Animal Protection, in German 'Tierschutz') investigate reports of cruelty and neglect, and will remove an animal if suspicions are confirmed. If an owner refuses access to the protection agency or any vet who has been sent by them, the police can get involved.
Dog owners are expected to keep their dogs under control in public, including in parks unless in a designated dog exercising area. Avoid letting them relieve themselves on private grounds and always pick up after your dog and place waste in a Robidog disposal unit, which also dispense free bags.
If you can offer a good home for a pet there are a number of animal shelters where you can adopt. If in German-speaking Switzerland, search under 'Tierheim'. There is a cat shelter in Geneva called SOS-Chats. Most shelters will warmly welcome any offer of support, from donations and sponsorship of residents to volunteering.
On the whole there are no cultural sensitivities towards animals but a percentage of the population belong to the Islamic faith (approx 5%) who may eat Halal and there are also a number of Jewish residents, particularly in Zurich, who may observe a kosher diet. Meat from pigs should not be served to friends or colleagues you meet in Switzerland who are known to adhere to either of these religions.
Swiss Animal Protection SAP
Organisation protecting animals from cruelty and neglect
Dornacherstrasse 101, P.O. Box 461, CH 4008 Basel
Tel: +41 (0)61 365 99 99
Animal Shelters in Switzerland
Directory of animal shelters by canton, plus advice and links to animal welfare organisations
All contact via contact form
Read more about this country
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