Insurance for Pets

Crimes against animals are sanctioned more often – Insurance for Pets

In 2019, 1933 animal offenses were legally judged in Switzerland. That is 173 cases more than in the previous year. The Foundation for Animals in Law (TIR) ​​is assuming a high number of unreported cases. Dogs are most affected.

The continuous increase in the last 20 years indicates that the law enforcement agencies are generally taking their duties more seriously and criminal offenses involving animals are being investigated and sanctioned more and more frequently, the TIR announced on Thursday.

51% of pet animals cases

51 percent of the cases involved pets. In terms of animal species, dogs were the most frequently victims of violations of animal welfare legislation, by far ahead of cattle. Offenses against laboratory animals have increased significantly. According to the TIR report, the ten procedures in 2019 represent a new high.

However, the experts put the figures into perspective overall. Although millions of animals are kept and used in Switzerland, the number of animal welfare criminal proceedings is regularly very low. Therefore, according to the TIR, a high number of unreported cases can be assumed.

Too often trivialized

She also complains that violations of animal welfare law are often played down. As an indication of this, the TIR evaluates the fact that the law enforcement authorities “by far” did not exhaust the legally permitted range of punishments. On average, a fine of 350 francs was imposed for violations.

After all, there was a clear improvement in the unconditional fines. However, only two prison sentences for pure animal welfare offenses were pronounced in 2019, both times conditional. Overall, the punishment is disproportionate to the animal suffering caused.

Criticism of authorities

In this context, the TIR criticizes the fact that the judicial authorities are still “insufficiently familiar with the criminal offenses of animal welfare law”. This leads, for example, to the fact that often only violations are objected to, although the facts tend to suggest cruelty to animals.

In addition, the vast majority of cases are dealt with by penal order. That diminishes transparency and public control.

Regional differences

According to the TIR, the analysis of the number of cases reveals major cantonal differences – both in absolute terms and in relation to the respective resident population: in absolute terms, most animal welfare criminal proceedings were conducted in 2019 in the cantons of Zurich, Bern and Aargau, with the canton of Zurich including the list in the reporting year 314 cases. Bern follows with 310 and Aargau with 184 cases. However, in relative terms, the densely populated Canton of Zurich, with 2.04 procedures per 10,000 inhabitants, is slightly below the cantonal average of 2.19. In contrast, the cantons of Bern and Aargau, with 2.98 and 2.68 procedures per 10,000 inhabitants, also perform above average in relative terms. The cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden (1 case), Nidwalden (5 cases), Jura and Uri (9 cases each) show fewer than ten cases in terms of their absolute number of cases – sometimes for the repeated time. In relation to the size of the population, the canton of Uri, with 2.45 procedures per 10,000 inhabitants, is above the Swiss-wide cantonal average of 2.19. In relative terms, the canton of Glarus once again had the most procedures per 10,000 inhabitants in the year under review, at 6.16. This is followed by the cantons of Graubünden (3.82), Lucerne (3.53), St. Gallen and Solothurn (3.23 each).