Letters to the editor
A new relationship with the wolf
We need to follow the Italian example of a new relationship between man and animals, especially the wolf. We need a new kind of pastoralism, with protective measures, shelters, and new ways of organising herds in order to do away with fears inherited from our ancestors and with the destruction of predators that are needed to maintain ecological balance and biodiversity. This is a great challenge, and it will take years to do what has to be done. Switzerland can do likewise, but what it really must not do is follow the French in their destructive and insane killing of everything that lives.
No restrictions on wild animals!
Switzerland is giving back to the animals what it has taken away over the last few centuries. It is understandable that farmers are unhappy about the losses caused by predators. Consequently, it is also right for the community to compensate for these losses. However, it is not coherent to immediately call for limits on predator populations when cars kill many times more wild animals, without calls for car travel to also be curbed. However, the discussion with wildlife biologist Reinhard Schnidrig showed that the Federal Office for the Environment has a very sensible leader on board. I would be interested to hear from him how many farm animals are killed by predators and how many wild animals are killed on the roads each year.
Protection takes top priority
I read the comments about the wild animals with great interest as we too, here in Australia, have red hot debates about our assemblage of Australian carnivores. These of course have changed through time as a result of evolution, extinction and species introductions. Ecosystems are still in a state of flux as they adjust to the relatively recent arrival of foxes and cats, suppression of dingoes and many anthropogenic influences. Many of Australia’s carnivores have suffered dramatic range declines, and many are threatened with extinction. Their intrinsic value alone makes them a priority for conservation. However, the persistence of other species, and of ecological processes, may also depend on predator conservation. The impacts of humans and introduced species are still playing out on the Australian landscape, and many carnivores are threatened with extinction. The shape of things to come will depend largely on the wildlife management practices of today. To maintain or restore the functioning ecosystems, wildlife managers must consider the ecological importance of predators.
Abolition of dual citizenship?
I read with great alarm in the last issue of Swiss Review that the idea of abolishing dual citizenship for Swiss people living abroad is being pursued in SVP circles. I worked for a heavily export-dependent major Swiss company in several host countries for a number of decades, and I became a citizen of one of these countries. My home country derived genuine economic benefits from my indirect representation of Swiss interests abroad. Because of my secondary residence in Switzerland, I also pay taxes, including direct federal tax. I find myself asking what Messrs Reimann, Brunner et al. find so repellent that they want to do away with dual citizenship for Swiss people living in other countries. What have these gentlemen tangibly done to promote Swiss exports or to generate inbound tourism, which is increasingly important for Switzerland? And I also find myself asking what I and my Swiss colleagues resident abroad have done to these parochial politicians to make them want to deny us our dual citizenship. In my view that would be a clumsy and unnecessary step towards further shutting off Switzerland from the rest of the world.
Under general suspicion
I read with amazement the article in the November issue in which some parliamentarians were seriously calling for the abolition of dual citizenship. At the same time, this suggestion is linked to a general suspicion about where dual citizens’ loyalties lie in relation to Switzerland as an employer. I am shocked by this line of thought and wonder whether, by logical extension, the Swiss Guard in the Vatican should also be abolished? What about the loyalties of these Swiss men when they have an Argentinian as their boss? I urge all parliamentarians calling for the abolition of dual citizenship to take a long hard look at the wider world before attempting such a move in Switzerland. I regard this proposal as verging on obscene, and once again it reveals the double standards practised by some senior Swiss figures.