In Switzerland, the fattening of ducks and geese and the production of foie gras have been banned for more than 40 years, although imports are not. During the Christmas season, foie gras is a popular dish, especially in French-speaking western Switzerland. The initiative “Yes to the import ban of foie gras” now wants to change the Swiss constitution through a referendum in order to enforce an import ban.
The Swiss parliament only voted against an import ban in September. Instead, manufacturers will have to provide information about their production conditions on the packaging in the future. According to MPs, a strict import ban could lead to people traveling to France to buy foie gras and thus harming Swiss traders.
With 200,000 kilograms of goose liver imported annually, Switzerland is one of the main importers of foie gras, animal rights activists criticized. Every year 400,000 ducks and 12,000 geese are killed for the Swiss market alone. It cannot be the case that "Swiss producers are banned under threat of punishment from producing foie gras, but this can be produced and imported by foreign producers."
According to the second initiative "Yes to the import ban on fur products produced in cruelty to animals", 350 tons of fur are imported into Switzerland every year. Around 1.5 million animals would have to be slaughtered for this. More than half of the imported furs come from China, where the animals are subjected to "horrible detention and killing conditions" and are sometimes skinned while still alive.