Controversies Over Animal Protection

The Swedish government’s bill to regulate mink farms has been rejected by legal experts.

The Council on Legislation, a group of Supreme Court Justices which rules on the constitutionality of proposed laws, says the government fails to justify the suggested new restrictions.

The government wants to require mink farmers to give their animals access to water to swim in. The organization representing Sweden’s 180 mink farms says this could put them out of business, and points to Germany and Italy, which have withdrawn similar requirements.

The Council on Legislation questions whether the proposal meets the requirement that restrictions on enterprise are only permitted if they protect the public interest.

Meanwhile, Swedish Radio News reports that there are serious differences of opinion on the government’s new rules for laboratory test animals. Currently there is no such legislation here, and animal testing is only permitted under exemptions from the animal protection laws.

But researchers complain that they have not been consulted about the new regulations expected to go into effect next month.