Since 2008, the Swiss legislation on animal welfare bars natural and artificial breeding and reproduction methods causing the parent animals or the offspring pain, suffering, harm or behavioural disorders that result from or are associated with the breeding objective. Even though the ban on torture breeding has been in force in Switzerland as well as other European countries for several years and is also stated in international treaties, the regulations have not been implemented so far and conditions in animal breeding are at their worst.
With her doctoral thesis, Ms MLaw Nora Flückiger approaches this problem for the first time with a judicial focus –overseen by the applicant and by Prof. Dr. iur. Marcel Alexander Niggli as well as supported by the doctoral programme "Law and Animals – Ethics at Crossroads" of the University of Basel. Incorporating the existing legal regulations, the envisaged draft of an ordinance on torture breeding as well as judicial and veterinary literature the doctoral thesis aims at interpreting and implementing Swiss regulations on torture breeding – not only in penal law but also in administrative law. The thesis will be divided into three parts: In the first part, a generally applicable judicial interpretation of torture breeding regulations and an evaluation of symptoms and features of torture breeding will be developed, taking into consideration the existing and pending legal regulations as well as judicial and veterinary literature. The second part will focus on the implementation of the ban on torture breeding in penal law and the necessary material and procedural elements. In the third part, the possibility and necessity of accompanying administrative measures will be explored. The doctoral thesis on hand will not only address the issue of a legally scarcely researched, new and seminal interdisciplinary field of law, but aims at offering penal and administrative authorities as well as politicians a practical handle on interpretation and implementation of regulations on torture breeding supporting an effective implementation of the ban. Alongside the jurisprudential and practical necessity of the legal research on the ban on torture breeding itself, this dissertation will not only address the question of animal welfare law but also several basic questions of other fields of law such as the limits of implementing national objectives by penal law and the interaction of penal law and administrative law.
Animal welfare law is in itself a legally scarcely researched field; a judicial differentiated discussion of the ban on pain breeding in particular is lacking altogether. One reason for this gap in judicial research and the lack of a constructive junction of judicial and veterinary expertise might be that not only legal knowledge is needed, but also veterinary insights, which may overstrain the abilities of the experts of both fields respectively. Taking into account Ms Flückiger's interdisciplinary education as well as her practical experiences and her longlasting and ongoing work for the Foundation of the Animal in Law (Stiftung für das Tier im Recht, TIR), she is uniquely qualified for the research of this particular topic. In addition to her own qualifications, Ms Flückiger will be supported by the applicant, being a professor for administrative law, by Prof. Dr. iur. Niggli, being a professor for penal law, and by Mrs em. Prof. med. vet. Dr. Sommerfeld-Stur as a veterinarian. Combined with the support of the doctoral programme of the University of Basel a successful termination of this project is to be expected.