03 Aug 2011
A Saudi man on holiday in Switzerland thought he was doing a good deed when he killed a loose snake in a park. But instead of getting a round of applause, he got jail time.
According to a report in the Arabic language daily Sharq, the Saudi man had been on a visit to the park with other tourists when he saw the snake on the ground. He then grabbed a rock and crushed the reptile's head.
But afterwards, bystanders called police who arrested him and charged him with killing a rare snake.
Police told him he should have called an animal welfare group instead of just killing the animal. The newspaper did not say where the incident occurred or if the man was still in custody.
Switzerland has some of the toughest animal welfare laws in the world on its books.
A 2008 law made it illegal for social animals, like pigs, goldfish, horses and other social animals to be kept alone. Cows must have regular exercise outside in summer and winter, and courses on animal welfare are obligatory - dog owners must learn about pet care and anglers about compassion.
But last year, Swiss voters did vote down a proposal to introduce a system of state-funded lawyers to represent animals in courts.