The Ranking Argument – Challenging Favourable Comparative Rhetoric about Animal Welfare Law

Autor/innen

  • Christian Rodriguez Perez Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • Nico Dario Müller Philosophical Seminar, Department of Arts, Media, Philosophy, University of Basel, Basel, Switzer-land https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0866-8235
  • Kirsten Persson Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Institute for Animal Hygiene, Animal Welfare and Farm Animal Behaviour, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8783-1437
  • David Martin Shaw Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Care and Public Health Research Institute Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8180-6927

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.58590/leoh.2023.004

Schlagworte:

Ranking argument, Swiss Animal Welfare Act, Status quo defence, Swiss popular initiatives, Fallacy

Abstract

This article captures and critiques a recurring and prominent political argument against animal welfare improvements in Switzerland which we term the “ranking argument”. This states that Swiss animal welfare law ranks among the strictest in the world, therefore no improvements are called for. This argument was advanced three times by Swiss government authorities in 2022 alone, but also in a case dating back to 1984, to advise the electorate on popular initiatives aiming at animal welfare improvements. We argue that, while the argument commits a fallacy of relative privation and is ethically dubious, it can be deployed to great effect by agents opposed to norm change in animal welfare regulation. We conclude with some thoughts on how the ranking argument can and should be challenged in public discourse.

Veröffentlicht

14-10-2023

Zitationsvorschlag

Rodriguez Perez, C., Müller, N. D., Persson, K., & Shaw, D. M. (2023). The Ranking Argument – Challenging Favourable Comparative Rhetoric about Animal Welfare Law. LEOH - Journal of Animal Law, Ethics and One Health, 44–55. https://doi.org/10.58590/leoh.2023.004

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