Jacques Nicolet: “We would move the question of animal detention abroad” –

Jacques Nicolet: “We would move the question of animal detention abroad” –

More meat imports, loss of control over farms abroad and soaring prices: in La Matinale de la RTS on Thursday, National Councilor Jacques Nicolet (UDC / VD) could not find words harsh enough to to counter the “No to intensive farming” initiative, in vote on September 25th.

“This initiative ruffles my hair, as well as the whole peasant corporation, because we are tired of regularly having initiatives in which we have to re-explain the way we work”, explains the one who, at the head of the he family business for thirty years, has now passed the reins of his farm to his son while still working there.

Perhaps a lack of communication is at the origin of this misunderstanding, admits Jacques Nicolet. “We may have been bad at communicating in recent years all the progress that has been made, in the keeping of animals, in the use of phytosanitary products or antibiotics. (…) Today, well-being animal is fully insured on farms in Switzerland,” says the Vaudois, who calls for a firm vote against the initiative on September 25.

The text, which aims to protect the dignity of farm animals (sheep, cattle, pigs, poultry), targets accommodation conditions, quality of care, regular outings, group size and slaughter conditions. If accepted at the polls, Parliament would have three years to legislate, then the peasants 25 years to adapt. “But the initiative does not achieve its goal, which should be to improve the animal condition”, criticizes the national adviser.

>> Read: The initiative against intensive farming submitted to the verdict of the polls on September 25

Foreign productions and price increases

“If we put in place such an initiative, production and breeding in Switzerland will be greatly reduced,” he explains, referring to the figures put forward by his camp in the campaign: in the event of acceptance of the initiative, locally produced poultry would drop from 60% to 10% of total consumption, egg production from 60% to 20%. “We would move the issue of animal detention abroad, we would lose control over it. In Switzerland, the controls are serious”, argues Jacques Nicolet, also pointing to the increase in the cost of meat in the event of a change. of standards.

Today, many labels exist which go beyond the minimum conditions of detention, but they are struggling to find takers with large retailers and consumers, underlines Jacques Nicolet, who specifies that the profession “is not completely closed to new discussions.

For the elected SVP, the initiative launched by environmental associations also includes a hidden agenda. “These circles seek to abolish animal husbandry and the consumption of meat. However, we must leave the choice to our population to consume what they wish to consume”, he still believes.

>> Read also: For Vera Weber, intensive farming “systematically flouts animal welfare”

Interview by David Berger/kkub

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