Swiss provide WTF moment of the day

When you think of Switzerland, it probably evokes bucolic images of snow capped Alps and ricolalederhosen-clad fellas blowing huge horns in a Ricola commercial. Yeah, me too.

But did you know that animals have a right to an attorney in Switzerland? That’s right – you better watch out if you mistreat your goat or squeeze your cow’s teat the wrong way. WTF???

Last month, Antoine Goetschel went to court here in defense of an unusual client: a 22-pound pike that had fought a fisherman for 10 minutes before surrendering.

Mr. Goetschel is the official animal lawyer for the Swiss canton of Zurich, a sort of public defender who represents the interests of pets, farm animals and wildlife. He wound up with the pike as a client when animal-welfare groups filed a complaint alleging animal cruelty in the fish’s epic battle with an amateur angler.

The case emerged after a local newspaper photo showed the fisherman proudly showing off the four-foot-long fish—a scene that, to Mr. Goetschel, was reminiscent of a safari hunter with his foot perched on the head of a dead lion. “It is this Hemingway thinking,” he says. “Why should this be legal when other animals have to be slaughtered in a humane way?”

I’ll say it again – WTF??? I always thought the Swiss were pretty cool folks –  and smart too. They make great watches and knives, and the whole thing about every household has to have a machine gun is rather cool too. But animal lawyers??? Are you people daft? Have you turned those big horns into bongs to smoke Alpine ganja? WTF are you thinking?



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