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.