Swiss agriculture -


Livestock Raising

A variety of productive livestock reside on the farms in Switzerland: cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, mules, fallow-deer, chicken, turkey, ducks, geese, rabbits and bees and for a couple of years now, even lamas, ostrich, bison and highland cattle. Swiss agriculture could hardly remain viable without the livestock industry. More than two-thirds of the turnover in agriculture is based on the production of milk, meat, eggs and other animals products.

Not all farms keep productive livestock. About one third of the farms specialise in crop farming, vegetable growing or fruit and vine production. Productive livestock such as horses, sheep and bees are not exclusively kept by farmers. In Switzerland industrial animal production is not possible for different reasons: the animal and water protection laws, maximum limits for animal stock and the fact that the construction of livestock buildings is subject to approval by the authorities. In view of a species appropriate animal husbandry, new methods of husbandry are constantly being tested and introduced. For this reason, one might see cows trudging in the snow, or pigs living in free-range enclosures, which igloos serving as shelters.