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But Does the Fish Have the Right to Remain Silent?

March 6, 2010

Ah, lawyers! They really are an odd species. In Switzerland, animal lawyers could soon be the norm:

Last month, Antoine Goetschel went to court here [in Zurich] 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.


Mr. Goetschel is the only official animal lawyer in Switzerland, but that may be about to change. On Sunday, the Swiss will vote on a referendum that would compel all of Switzerland’s cantons to hire animal lawyers. The rationale: If people accused of mistreating animals can hire lawyers, the victims of such abuse are also entitled to representation.

If that logic holds, then the next step is that animals mistreating other animals must be brought to court to answer for their actions as well. Consider this example of two adult males attacking a group of harmless teenagers, not only killing some, but also mistreating the helpless creatures in cruel games:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Big Mel and Bernard are unmistakingly identifiable on this surveillance tape and their actions have been clearly unprovoked. I say, drag these guys to court (literally)!

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