The aim of all TIR projects is to improve the human-animal relationship in a legal, ethical, and social sense.
Annually recurring projects and also one-time projects are necessary in order to serve our foundation's purpose and to assess current animal welfare-related topics. You can find a selection of this year's emphases of our projects below.
In order to fulfill our foundation's purpose and to carry out projects, we, as an operative foundation, are dependent on financial support. We would be pleased to provide you with a detailed description of each project (including cost budget) upon request. If you wish to support one of our projects, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +41 (0) 43 443 06 43.
The library on animals in law, ethics, and society was established in 2003 and is the actual heart of TIR. It now consists of around 20'000 scientific books and essays and also includes a media archive with newspaper and journal articles on approximately 200 animal welfare-related topics. The literature collection is constantly being expanded and is open to the public free of charge.
Being the largest literature collection on the human-animal relationship in the German-speaking area, the library is not only an enormous source of information for anyone interested in animal welfare topics, but also an indispensible tool for the development of academic papers in the various fields. With the constant expansion of the literature collection, TIR mainly strives to promote research with the closest possible attention to practical application and the resulting further development of animal welfare awareness in law, ethics, and society.
Database Animal Welfare-Related Offenses
Since 2003, TIR has been maintaining a database with all criminal sentences relating to animal welfare that have been reported to the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) since 1981. They are registered in anonymized form and can be looked up by anyone free of charge. Every year, TIR thoroughly analyzes the entire case material of the previous year and presents the results in a detailed report on the developments and tendencies in the Swiss animal welfare-related penal practice.
Experience has shown that TIR has been able to reach a vast public through the media with its profound annual analyses, which ultimately exerts considerable pressure on the prosecution authorities. Figures from recent years show that, today, significantly more criminal proceedings for animal welfare-related offenses are being initiated and carried out. Penalties have also been noticeably increased: animal welfare-related offenses are being punished more harshly and not so readily played down. The TIR database not only contributes to increased transparency and attention from the authorities responsible for the enforcement of criminal animal welfare law. It is also an accepted tool in practice and is actively consulted by courts, investigation authorities, media professionals, and animal welfare organizations. The publication of the next evaluation report is planned for November 2021.
Link to the database (in German)
Link to the analyses (in German)
Legal Advice on the Animal in the Law
TIR annually responds to around 2'000 animal-related legal questions in written form or over the phone. It offers valuable support for people who depend on legal information for solving specific everyday problems with animals. Our team of specialists provide the detailed answers. Many issues arise regularly, which is why we have listed the most frequently asked questions on our website. The active use of TIR's legal advice service confirms the fact that the information conveyed meets a strong societal need.
Link to legal advice (in German)
Promoting Future Lawyers (in the Field of Animal Welfare Law)
Internship at TIR
Since 2007, TIR has been offering graduates and students in advanced semesters the opportunity to complete short internships of four to six weeks in order to gain a deeper insight into TIR's daily work environment. The interns learn about the wide range of animal-related legal fields and can thus be won over for the animal welfare cause.
The promotion of future animal welfarists is of utmost importance in order to ensure the continuous improvement of the legal status of animals in the medium and long term. Due to its high practical relevance and the variety of tasks, the short internship also greatly contributes to the basic legal training of the interns. Moreover, the number of interested individuals who seize this opportunity and the positive feedback of past interns prove that the internship meets a strong need of students and lawyers.
TIR short internships (in German)Support this project
Book Series "Schriften zum Tier im Recht ("Writings on the Animal in the Law")
Publications in TIR's series
In 2011, TIR launched its own series "Schriften zum Tier im Recht", which was published by the renowned publishing house Schultess. It is the first series in the German-speaking area that focuses on the legal aspects of animal welfare and includes selected specialist articles, the dissemination of which, from a legal policy and societal perspective, is important for the further development of animal welfare law.
Due to the small number of scientific reviews published in the field of animal welfare law, the series "Schriften zum Tier im Recht" fills a large gap. TIR's fundamental knowledge in legal matters – and, of course, also the contributions by external experts – can thus be bundled and made available to a wide specialized public. The publications are aimed primarily at lawyers, public authorities, police forces, and politicians and are now regularly quoted in court decisions.
So far 23 volumes have already been published and we expect to add another two to three per year. Each publication has a print run of 100 to 300 copies and comprises 50 to 400 pages.
Link to TIR's series (in German)Support this project
International Wildlife Protection
Since 2016, TIR has been focusing intensely on global issues such as poaching and the trade in wildlife and wildlife products. The impetus for this commitment came from investigations in Kenya and Zimbabwe in 2015 where meetings with prosecutors, lawyers, African nature and wildlife organizations, rangers, and species conservationists highlighted the urgent need for action. Ensuing research conducted in Switzerland revealed that numerous legislative loopholes and deficits in law enforcement on a national and international level facilitate the illegal wildlife trade.
TIR's efforts aim at highlighting the extent of the problem and its serious consequences and at addressing the issue in target countries on a political, legal, and public level. The illegal trade in wild fauna and flora is now one of the most lucrative forms of criminal activity in the world after arms, human and drug trafficking. Its immense scale shows that the measures introduced so far to combat the problem have proven insufficient and that there is urgent need for more consistent action. The illegal wildlife trade is also highly problematic from an animal welfare and species conservation perspective. Switzerland plays a key role here because from all parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) it issues the most CITES permits. The high trade figures are attributable to various industries located in Switzerland, such as the pharmaceutical, watch and luxury goods sectors.
TIR is currently setting up a reliable information center on "International Wildlife Protection" for policymakers, the media, other organizations, authorities and the general public, and is developing practical suggestions for improving legislation in cooperation with like-minded organizations and politicians. The pooling of forces and the formation of strong networks are vital in order to achieve more for the protection of endangered wildlife species. Furthermore, TIR wants to raise public awareness about our responsibility towards wildlife in terms of animal welfare and species conservation and to encourage a change in thinking.
Commentary on the Swiss Animal Welfare Act
Animal welfare law is relevant to many areas of life and various industries and is therefore of great practical importance. The effectiveness of the regulations depends primarily on their actual implementation. In general, the competent authorities rely on legal commentaries when applying the relevant provisions. However, unlike in most other fields of law, no commentary has yet been published on the Swiss Animal Welfare Act (AWA) of 2008. There is therefore urgent need to provide the authorities with a tool to ensure that animal welfare legislation is implemented consistently and in line with its purpose. Legal commentaries are also of utmost importance for legal doctrine and research. The demand for a legal commentary that covers the animal welfare legislation is therefore evident.
For this reason, the Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR) is working together with further experts to write the first comprehensive commentary on the AWA. The approximately 500-page document is scheduled to be published by Schulthess Verlag, a renowned Swiss publishing house, no later than 2021. The commentary will be co-published by TIR, Prof. Dr. iur. Margot Michel, and Prof. Dr. iur. Daniel Jositsch, with TIR being responsible for overall coordination, fine-tuning and editing. The 25 leading Swiss experts in the field of animal welfare law have been recruited to comment the individual provisions.
The commentary is aimed primarily at a specialist audience, particularly the authorities responsible for the enforcement of animal welfare law, namely administrative, prosecution, and veterinary authorities as well as the courts and, of course, at lawyers, students, and PhD students. It is intended to provide all interested parties with a quick overview of the subject matter and with answers to the legal questions being assessed. By clarifying vague legal terms and comprehensively incorporating doctrine and jurisprudence, the aim is to promote uniform application of the law and at the same time provide legal certainty. In summary, the commentary on the AWA is intended to serve as an indispensable standard reference work which the competent authorities can rely on as a first reference for the application of the law and which also provides a basis for legal doctrine and research in the further development of animal welfare law.
Fundamental Works on Current Animal Welfare Law Issues
The production and dissemination of expert opinions and statements in relation to current animal welfare issues
Legal opinions, detailed statements, and reviews with regard to current political, judicial, and other events related to the animal in the law are very important in practice. The public, the media, public administration, politicians, and also animal welfare organizations and organizations closely related to animals expect TIR to prepare legal files, fundamental documents, or reviews upon short notice. In recent years, TIR has met this demand, for example, regarding dangerous dogs, zoophilia, import bans on fur products and dolphins, or the individual housing of rabbits, and also with regard to various draft laws at a statutory and ordinance level, such as the animal welfare legislation or the cantonal acts regarding dogs.
The expert opinions can considerably influence the legislation process. The results are published and submitted to the competent authorities and can also be consulted at www.tierimrecht.org.
Link to the expert opinions (in German)
Note: Further Costs
In order to maintain its comprehensive range of services, TIR naturally has to cover further significant costs, which cannot be directly assigned to one of the abovementioned projects. However, these expenses are inevitable for the maintenance and expansion of the competence center for matters regarding the animal in law, ethics, and society. The costs include, for example, the rent for office space, administration, and technical infrastructure.
Other costs are related to research work and the processing of information for journalists and specialists or their supervision, in case they are looking for direct assistance regarding animal welfare law at our office. Further emphasis is laid on the professional support of students who are accompanied and coached in order to write high-quality diploma theses and term papers. Furthermore, as part of its public relations work, TIR participates in several specialist exhibitions and other events each year where it makes the fair visitors aware of their legal duties as animal owners and thus raises general awareness for the concerns of animals.
TIR employees also regularly speak at national and international conferences or panel discussions. In addition, TIR is involved in various educational and further training programs for private individuals and enforcement authorities and thus promotes the dissemination of knowledge.
General donations for our most urgent animal welfare projects