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Swiss vote on ban

Voters in the Swiss referendum, calling for a ban on animal research in the country, have emphatically rejected it by 79% to 21%.

It was the fourth failed vote on the issue since 1985.

The Swiss government and parliament had both recommended voters reject the initiative as it was considered too radical. And in a smaller, but equally significant canton referendum, Basel city rejected a call to give basic ‘human’ rights to all non-human primates in the cantonal constitution, by 74% to 25%.

EARA executive director, Kirk Leech, said: “The importance of this vote should not be underestimated and sends out an important message across Europe.”

The vote also brought together the biomedical sector with the broader academic, economic and political community in Switzerland.

The ‘No’ campaign was well co-ordinated (French/German) and politicians from across the political spectrum, including the Greens, stood up publicly to support the benefits of animal research. For examples of this search the hashtags on Twitter for #tierversuche, #Tierversuchsverbot, #tvnein, #SanteEnDangerNON and #rechercheanimale.

However, activist campaigners have said they plan to revive the issue in a few years’ time (see video). “We will meet tomorrow to plan the next initiative”, said Renato Werndli, co-chairman of the committee that launched the federal initiative.


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