Swiss prison system on trial in the media

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Why farmers are helicoptering water to thirsty cows, wolf packs are attacking Swiss cattle, and more in our roundup of Swiss news from July 19 – 22.


Switzerland’s beloved cattle are at the heart of their two favorite exports: Cheese and chocolate.


Why Swiss farmers want a wolf pack eradicated


Graubünden canton officials say wolf attacks on livestock are on the rise – two cows in the span of one week were attacked so badly wolves that they had to be euthanized. There are about 130 wolves belonging to 11 different packs throughout the country. They are known to kill about 300-500 sheep and goats every year, but cattle attacks are fairly uncommon. The Graubünden farmers’ association are calling for the eradication of the entire local wolf pack. In Valais a wolf was shot after it killed twelve livestock on mountain pastures. Under current Swiss hunting laws, a wolf is allowed to be shot as soon as it has killed at least ten sheep or goats over a period of four months. Read more.



Water helicoptered up Swiss mountains for precious cattle


Cattle farmers throughout Switzerland have been forced to hire helicopters to deliver water to their thirsty cows in hard-to-reach places affected by Switzerland’s drought. In the canton of Fribourg there is little to no water where some 50,000 cows usually find them – in natural springs and streams. The Fribourg Agriculture Society says that is such conditions continue cattle farmers will not be able to afford to water deliveries. Read more.


Forget everything you know about cheese: Why Swiss cheese is healthy



Swiss prison system on trial in the media


The Guardian this week published an article shining a light on the Swiss prison system, paying particular attention to the story of “Switzerland’s most notorious prisoner,” Brian Keller. The story of Keller is a long one, but involves moving from France to Zürich at a young age, entering the detention system at age 10, and continuing to be in and out of the system for the next 15 years. Now 26, Keller has a criminal justice case against the prison system; his claim is that he has been treated poorly – left in isolation without any furniture, without being allowed to shower or visit with family members. “To some, including the Swiss tabloids that pounce with grim fascination on his every encounter with the law, Keller is a monster beyond rehabilitation. To others he is the victim of a penal system that has degraded him and a racism that underpins many of Switzerland’s state institutions.” Read more.


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