English Forum Switzerland

English Forum Switzerland (https://www.englishforum.ch/forum.php)
-   Pet corner (https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corner/)
-   -   Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos (https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corner/232330-zermatt-bans-use-st-bernhards-tourist-photos.html)

meloncollie 24.04.2015 10:09

Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
From the 20 Minuten:

Zermatt has finally taken steps against the conditions under which St Bernhards have been kept and used for tourist photo ops, banning the practice.

http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/26096409

And an earlier article over the complaint by Schweizer Tierschutz:
http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/11605739


From the second link: According to Tierschutz, the dogs have been kept in inappropriate conditions:

Die Hunde werden laut STS in einem Abbruchhaus gehalten. «Ohne fliessend Wasser und vermutlich ohne Strom und ohne Heizung. Der angrenzende, als Zwingerauslauf genutzte Garten ist mit Kot und Urin verschmutzt», schreibt der STS in einer Medienmitteilung. Weiter müssten die Hunde auf ausgedehnte Spaziergänge, artgerechte Beschäftigung, Sozialkontakte und Streicheleinheiten verzichten.

Roughly:

According to STS the dogs are kept in a derelict house, without running water and presumably without electricity and heating. The garden used as a kennel run is contaminated with feces and urine. The dogs are not given appropriate exercise or stimulation, they are not given appropriate social contacts.

---

Wearing my animal welfare hat:

I'm glad to see that steps were taken, however the comment at the end of the article worries me: The fate of the now 'unemployed' dogs is uncertain.

While I am certainly no fan of practices like these, I wonder why a ban was instituted rather than steps taken to improve kennel and work conditions, so that the dogs were allowed to live 'artgerecht' lives. Or I wonder given the ban, why the dogs were not taken into official care.

I hope that the dogs will be rehomed, that the authorities will follow up on what happens to them now. I know that it is difficult to rehome St Bernhards in Switzerland, despite them being a national symbol. Few people are able to care for them appropriately.

---

And a bit of absurdity:

Damit Touristen auch in Zukunft nicht auf Schweizer Symbolismus verzichten müssen, überlege man sich bereits Ersatzangebote. Laut Bürgin könnte zum Beispiel ein Alphornbläser in die Bresche springen und sich mit den Feriengästen ablichten lassen. Denkbar wäre auch, dass die Mitarbeiter der Foto-Anbieter aktiv werden. Diese könnten sich als Bernhardiner verkleiden. In Disney-Land mache man das ja auch so.

(Roughly)

So that tourism is not deprived of Swiss symbols in the future, alternatives for photo-ops are being considered. For instance, an Alphorn player might spring into the breach to pose for tourists. Or an employee could dress up as a St Bernhard dog. As in done in Disneyland.


Erm... :msncrazy:

mirfield 24.04.2015 10:21

Re: Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townn...10bb.image.jpg
10 Francs, 10 Francs. Get your St Bernhard photos here.

Bad Brad 04.08.2015 13:51

Re: Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
I live in Zermatt and heard that the dog photos will continue this year because of a pre-existing contract (unsubstantiated rumor). The dogs do work long hours in often difficult conditions. I don't know about their off-work living conditions, but I have seen them be quite aggressive with other dogs, suggesting they might benefit from some socialisation.

meloncollie 05.08.2015 12:11

Re: Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
Bad Brad, are the dogs still out and about in Zermatt?

If so on the one hand that's positive, as concerns had been expressed in various newspaper articles about what would happen to them when 'unemployed'.

But on the other hand if welfare concerns were enough for their use to be banned, I would hope that the authorities have taken steps towards immediate improvement in the conditions in which they are kept and worked in the interim.

Oblio 05.08.2015 12:30

Re: Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 2379652)
I know that it is difficult to rehome St Bernhards in Switzerland, despite them being a national symbol. Few people are able to care for them appropriately.

I had no idea of the photo opps but the whole story is so against what I thought of dog care/conditions in this country.

Wondering if the dogs could be re homed internationally? Or if the attraction could be turned into a working dog attraction, these dogs love to work and be around people if treated well.

meloncollie 05.08.2015 12:38

Re: Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Oblio (Post 2428915)
I had no idea of the photo opps but the whole story is so against what I thought of dog care/conditions in this country.

Sadly, myths abound in Switzerland, one of which is it's commitment to animal welfare.

Switzerland has some of the most progressive animal welfare legislation in Europe on it's books. Unfortunately, they are not always enforced, or only enforced selectively. Although the situation is indeed better than in many other countries - largely because Switzerland is a wealthy country - we still see too much animal abuse here, and it is not unknown that authorities turn a blind eye. It can be an uphill battle to get even the most aggregious offenders punished.

It is as if, having exhausted themselves in the process of getting a law passed, the authorities simply say 'job done, now we can forget the issue'. And life goes on as before.

This situation where laws abound but are not consistently enforced is not limited to animal welfare, it's one of the things I have had a hard time getting my head around here.


ETA:

But to be fair, in this case the authorities have finally taken action, and should be commended for that.

Let's just hope that these dogs' future incluldes a happy, healthy 'atrgerecht' retirement.
.

Oblio 05.08.2015 12:47

Re: Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 2428918)

It is as if, having exhausted themselves in the process of getting a law passed, the authorities simply say 'job done, now we can forget the issue'. And life goes on as before.
.

Going for the post that will get a ton of groans but will say it all the same :

because laws cannot and will not change the way people think. All too often (not just in Switzerland) when animals are (ab)used is a backward mentality of "animals are here to serve us, humans" ... sorry but when I hear of animals being exploited for PHOTOS (it's not like they are bringing water to a school in a remote village) I get rather angry...

All the wealth will not make up for kindness and compassion. And clearly laws don't either...

Thanks for the details, MC - sad as they are it's best to know about these things....

Guest 05.08.2015 13:04

Re: Zermatt bans use of St Bernhards for Tourist Photos
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bad Brad (Post 2428481)
I don't know about their off-work living conditions, but I have seen them be quite aggressive with other dogs...

So they are probably stressed out and have now developed a drinking problem.

Strange story. Why don't they just improve their living conditions instead of trying to prove how they are such "concerned animal lovers" with this publicity stunt? Perhaps Zermatt is undergoing a branding/image make-over, and the dogs are getting fired?


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:36.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0