On 13 February 2022, Swiss voters will vote on whether to the ban animal and human experiments.
Animal experiments are permitted in Switzerland, as they are in many other countries. They are used in the development of drugs and therapies that offer better treatment of human and animal diseases.
Switzerland currently has some of the strictest laws on animal testing in the world. Animal experiments are only authorised if the results cannot be obtained by other means. In addition, the benefit to society must justify the stress placed on the animals. Furthermore, researchers may only work with as many animals as is absolutely necessary in their experiments, and they must keep any stress on the animals to a minimum.
However, the initiative calls for a ban on animal experiments that would lead to a ban on the import of products that have been developed using animal testing.
Experiments on human beings would also be banned. If the initiative were accepted, no more new medicines would be developed in Switzerland using animal experiments, whether for humans or for animals. These medicines would include vaccines, medicines or other products such as plant protection products. Activities related to them would possibly move abroad.
Switzerland’s government is unanimously against the idea of a ban. 195 members of the National Council, Switzerland’s parliament, voted against it, zero for it, with no abstentions. The vote proportions were similar in Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, with 42 against, zero in favour and 2 abstentions.