In Switzerland, Antoine Goetschel is a lawyer who focuses on animal rights law. He played a key role in lobbying for the unsuccessful March 2010 Swiss referendum which would have provided legal representation to all animals involved in Swiss court cases. Goetschel began his interest in animal rights when he was in an accident at the age of 23 that left him unable to speak for a time.
It got him thinking about animals suffering and having no voice. Most of Goetschel's cases involve abuse of domestic pets, such as the case in which he secured a large fine against a woman who abandoned two kittens shortly after purchasing them. In 2010, he argued on behalf of a pike that was caught by an angler. He made the case that the amount of time the angler had spent fighting the fish caused the fish to "suffer excessively."
Although the court ruled against him, he is currently appealing the judgment. He has also prosecuted on behalf of fish that were used in a game show episode in which contestants attempted to catch them by hand, arguing that the contestants did not treat the fish with the dignity they deserved. He ultimately lost the case on a technicality.