Switzerland Nixes More Free Lawyers for Animals Switzerland Nixes More Free Lawyers for Animals
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Switzerland Nixes More Free Lawyers for Animals

by Andrew Price

March 10, 2010
In Zurich there's a lawyer, Antoine Goetschel, whose job it is to represent animals as defendants when they're abused or otherwise mistreated. Switzerland was recently considering expanding this program to 25 so every region in the country had its own animal lawyer, but the idea was voted down.From The Lede:
That lawyer, Antoine Goetschel, told Swiss television that the publicity surrounding the ballot initiative might have led 70.5 percent of the electorate to vote against paying for 25 more lawyers to prosecute humans on behalf of abused animals. "Many voters might have been a bit fed up with the topic," said Mr. Goetschel, whose clients are mainly dogs.The fact that Mr. Goetschel recently represented a dead fish, in a case in which a Zurich fisherman was accused of torture for taking ten minutes to land a pike, might also have convinced Swiss voters that their lunch did not need legal representation.
I think one could must a pretty good argument for why animals should have lawyers based on the fact that moral agency and the capacity to experience suffering exist on a sliding scale across different species.But here in the States, of course, lots of people are totally cool with denying lawyers to the humans in Guantanamo Bay.
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Switzerland Nixes More Free Lawyers for Animals