This is my first own post here, I hope I do everything right - it is a topic that is very close to my heart.
In September 2022, Switzerland will vote on whether very strict regulations should apply to agricultural animal husbandry in the future, namely the standards of the Swiss organic certificate "Bio Suisse".
So far, this popular initiative has been dismissed as a niche concern with little chance of success. Now, however, a very large referendum poll has come out, which surprisingly predicts 55% approval (with 43% rejection and 2% undecided).
This result is encouraging. However, experience shows that the approval rating drops by 5-10 percentage points until the actual vote.
I believe that this is an opportunity to achieve a very high impact for animal rights at relatively low cost because:
- the constitutional amendment would be binding for a whole country (including imports), not only for individual companies
- 81 million animals are slaughtered in Switzerland every year. With the ban on factory farming, this number would be reduced just by the additional space required. In addition, there is the effect of the higher price for meat, which should also reduce the number of animals kept/slaughtered.
- the decision could potentially be an inspiration for other countries, as it would be the first decision of its kind in the world (and a referendum at that).
- The initiative committee is very committed and politically talented and is planning a large poster and online campaign, which is still underfunded. Additional funds could have a big effect on the outcome of the vote.
Caveat: I am not a trained political scientist but only a committed and long-time participant in Swiss political life. Furthermore, animal rights and this initiative are especially close to my heart and may make my assessment too optimistic.
However, my assessments in this text are in line with most political commentators I have read so far.
- Media release of the survey (in german): https://www.tamedia.ch/tl_files/content/Group/PDF%20Files/Deutsch/20220810_MIT_Tamedia_20Minuten_Abstimmungsumfrage_1.Welle_DE.pdf
- Overview article on the initiative and on factory farming in Switzerland (in English): https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-factory-farming-ban-to-be-decided-at-the-ballot-box/47778376
- Link of the initiative committee with donation possibility: https://massentierhaltung.ch/spenden/