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A bottom-up approach to animal welfare in Swiss agriculture Workshop on Societal Concerns, Paris, 2-3 November 2009 François Pythoud Director of International sustainable agriculture Unit Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture CH-3003 Berne. History of animal welfare policies in Switzerland.

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A bottom-up approach to animal welfare in Swiss agricultureWorkshop on Societal Concerns, Paris, 2-3 November 2009 François PythoudDirector of International sustainable agriculture UnitSwiss Federal Office for AgricultureCH-3003 Berne

history of animal welfare policies in switzerland
History of animal welfare policies in Switzerland

1992Paradigmshift in AgrPolicy: Separation betweenpriceandincomepolicy (decouplingofsupport → directpayments)

Strong pressurefrompopulationandanimalrightsgroups → Mandate fromParliamenttoimplementanimalwelfareprogrammes

1993 Implementation of ROEL (Regular Outdoor Exercise for Livestock)

1995 Implementation of PAS (Particularly Animal-Friendly Stabling)

1996 Swiss people decide to anchor animal welfare in article 104 of the Federal Constitution

1999 Animal welfare is fixed in the Agricultural Act

federal constitution 1996
Federal Constitution (1996)

Article 104 on agriculture

Par. 3: The Confederation shall organise measures in such a manner that the agricultural sector fulfils its multi-functional duties. It has in particular the following powers and duties:

a. …

b. encourage by means of economically favourable incentives, methods of production that are particularly near-natural and respectful of both the environment and livestock.

c. …


Agricultural Act from 1999

Article 76a:

The federal government fixes the incentives so that the particular ethological efforts are rewarding, taking into account higher market prices.

  • Criteria for determining incentives:
  • Additional costs (construction, labour & maintenance costs)
  • Additional market benefits (higher prices through labelling)
  • Agricultural policy goals (enhance animal welfare)
roel and pas

4 animal welfare needs: activity, free movement, daylight, caregiving

Regular OutdoorExercisefor Livestock (ROEL)


- 26 days per monthpasture in summer

- 13 days/monthoutdoorexercise in winter


- Daily outdoorexercise

ParticularlyAnimal-FriendlyStabling (PAS)

 No fixation

 Animals in groups (at least 2)

 Different areas (resting place with straw litter, activity,


 Daylight in the stable

monitoring evaluation
Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Targets (defined in evaluation concept, 1999):
  • Measurable improvement of animal welfare by 2005
  • At least 50% of livestock under ROEL and PAS
  • Enforcement:
  • On-farm controls: At least once every 4 years required by law (in
  • practice: once every 2 years)
  • Regional control bodies accredited by the Swiss Accreditation
  • Service (SAS)
  • In 2008, 2% or 1‘301 of 56‘632 farms had to be sanctioned (payment
  • cuts due to non-compliance) → publication in the annually
  • released Agricultural Report (FOAG)
  • Control and enforcement costs ROEL/PAS: 8-14 CHF/LSU or
  • 3.2-7.6% of payment (Mann 2003, Buchli and Flury 2005)
effectiveness of pas and roel
Effectiveness of PAS and ROEL

Cows (Danuser and Regula 2002)

  • Less signs of paralysis
  • Less injuries of teats and articulations
  • Less veterinary treatments

Fattening pigs (Danuser and Regula 2003)

  • Less antibiotic treatements
  • Less injuries of dermis and articulations
  • Less tail bites
roel pas and wto
  • Not aimed at MPS (neither Blue nor Amber Box)
  • Both programmes in the Green Box (Annex 2 AoA)
  • Argument:
    • §1 of Annex 2: ROEL/PAS do not stimulate production (agr land is limited in CHE: more room per animal → less livesock production) and have therefore „no or at least minimal trade distorting effects or effects on production“

How did animal welfare come to the fore?

  • Strong pressure from population and animal rights groups

Who decided to intervene?

  • The parliament in 1992

What considerations were taken into account?

  • Empirical, scientific and practical factors

What M&E is undertaken?

  • Monitoring: high efficiency; Evaluation: high effectiveness

What about the international trade dimension?

  • PAS/ROEL: Both in Green Box

Danuser, J. und Regula, G. (2002): Evaluation der Ökomassnahmen und Tierhaltungsprogramme. Schlussbericht Kategorie Milchkühe. Bundesamt für Landwirtschaft, Bern

Buchli, S. and Flury, Ch. (2005): Policy related transaction costs of direct payments in Switzerland. OECD, Paris

Danuser, J. und Regula, G. (2003): Evaluation der Ökomassnahmen und Tierhaltungsprogramme. Schlussbericht Kategorie Mastschweine. Bundesamt für Landwirtschaft, Bern

Mann, S. (2003): Die Kosten der Ökomassnahmen in der Schweizer Landwirtschaft. Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt für Agrarwirt-schaft und Landtechnik, Tänikon


Thank you!

Additional information: