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Animal Protection in the Constitution of Switzerland

Authority Provision 

Title 3: Confederation, Cantons, and Municipalities, Chapter 2: Powers, Section 4: Environment and Zoning, Article 78: Nature and Cultural Heritage, paragraph 4 and Article 80: Protection of Animals

Title 3: Confederation, Cantons, and Municipalities Section 5, Article 84: Alpine Transit; Section 7: Economy, Article 104: Agriculture,; Section 8:Housing, Work, Social Security and Health Article 118: Protection of Health and Article 120: Gene Technology in the Non-Human Field

Per Article 78, the Constitution charges the Confederation with legislating “on the preservation of their natural environment and multiplicity. It shall protect endangered species from extinction.”

Per Article 80, the Confederation is charged specifically with legislating on the protection of animals. In particular, it is charged with legislating in the following areas: “the keeping and care of animals,” “experiments and intervention on live animals,” the use of animals,” “the importation of animals and animal products,” “trade in animals and transportation of animals,” and “the slaughter of animals.”

Per Article 84, the Confederation is charged to reduce the levels of nuisance caused by transit traffic in the alpine regions to a level “which is not harmful to persons, animals, or plants, or their environment.”

Per Article 104, the Confederation is charged with “promot[ing], by way of economic incentives, forms of production which are particularly close to nature and friendly to the environment and the animals.”

Per Article 118, the Confederation is charged with “fighting contagious, widespread or particularly dangerous human and animal diseases.”

Per Article 120, Swiss Constitution provides protection to animals, with specific emphasis on animals in gene technology. It provides, “The Federation adopts rules on the use of reproductive and genetic material of animals, plants, and other organisms. It takes thereby into account the dignity of the creature and the security of man, animal and environment, and protects the genetic multiplicity of animal and plant species.”

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