More efficient, more intensive – simply more and more. This is the shape of livestock farming in Switzerland today. But this increase in yield comes at a cost: our animals, our environment, our health and our future pay the price.
Ten pigs, each weighing 100 kilos. Fattened up at such speed and intensity that they can hardly stand on their four feet. Forced to share the space of one car park.
Life is not any better for broiler chickens in huge factory farming facilities: On average, 17 birds are penned into one square metre and only permitted to live for six weeks. During this time, they are bred up for slaughter so intensively that their legs can barely hold them. Examples like these are not only legal in modern Switzerland, but common practice. And let’s not forget that millions of male chicks from egg production hens are killed by machine as “day-old chicks”. Battery cages have long been outlawed in Switzerland, thanks to the efforts of animal welfare initiatives. Still, you can buy eggs from battery hens in Switzerland – just from farmers from abroad.
Barn hens don’t fare much better either as they are wasting away in overcrowded sheds. Their life is over after about 15 per cent of their natural life expectancy ‒ 18 months at the latest ‒ because their laying performance no longer meets the industrial requirements of factory farming.
Factory farming drives up global warming, aggravates global hunger, exacerbates water scarcity, causes resistance to antibiotics and violates the constitutional principles of animal welfare.
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The popular initiative “No factory farming in Switzerland” (Factory Farming Initiative, in German: “Massentierhaltungsinitiative”), launched by Sentience Politics on 12 June 2018, wants to put an end to all this. Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) is strongly supporting the Factory Farming Initiative. In a joint effort with other organisations, we have successfully campaigned to collect the necessary 100,000 signatures. On 17 September 2019, we handed over the collected signatures to the Federal Chancellery in Bern. In all likelihood, the Swiss electorate will be able to vote on that important subject in the near future. (Media Release of 17 September 2019 (German, French, Italian))
Swiss consumers should know about the abuses perpetrated in Swiss factory farming. They should be made aware of the consequences associated with consumption of these products. And they should be allowed to make educated decisions on which kind of animal husbandry they want their goods to come from. The Factory Farming Initiative offers an excellent opportunity to do so. According to surveys conducted by Isopublic, 87 per cent of the population considers animal welfare in farming to be “important” or “very important”. FFW wants to harness this public feeling with the support of the Factory Farming Initiative.
Website Massentierhaltungsinitiative (currently only available in German / French)