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Swiss overwhelmingly reject ban on animal testingqrcode

Feb. 14, 2022

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Feb. 14, 2022

Swiss overwhelmingly reject ban on animal testing

Voters in Switzerland on last Sunday rejected a campaign that aimed to make it the first country to ban experiments on animals.

According to government figures, 21% of voters were in favor of a ban on animal testing and 79% were against the measure.

Polling stations for in-person voting opened for two hours on last Sunday morning, but most voters had already cast their ballots by post.

The poll was part of the country's system of direct democracy that sees many issues put to the electorate each year.

"We are delighted with the clear rejection of this harmful initiative," CEO of lobby group Interpharma Rene Buholzer said.

"It shows that the Swiss population recognise the central role of research for people's health and for prosperity in Switzerland."

What is the animal testing ban?

Voters were asked to consider a "ban on animal and human experiments," which, if passed, would have made Switzerland the world's first country to introduce the measure.

Animal welfare campaigners gathered enough signatures to put the question on the ballot.

Supporters of the ban said the practice is unnecessary and ethically wrong, calling the practice "inexcusable."

They argue that researchers are able to create new methods to test medications and chemicals without involving animals.

Opponents of the ban, which includes the Swiss parliament, said it would have wide-ranging impacts on the development and production of new medications, vaccines, therapies and chemicals (including plant protection chemicals).

Pharmaceutical giants Roche and Novartis argued that animal testing is still necessary to develop new medications. Opponents of the ban also said that major companies could choose to leave Switzerland should the measure pass.

Around 500,000 animals — including mice, rabbits, rats, and others — are killed in laboratories in Switzerland each year.

Source: DW


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