Published: 24 Oct 2012 11:59 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 24 Oct 2012 11:59 GMT+02:00
Authorities in Bern have infuriated an animal protection group by ordering the removal in Geneva of two road signs warning motorists of beavers.
The federal office of highways ruled that the signs, approved by the canton, did not conform to national standards.
They were erected earlier this year on the Route de Verbois, in the western part of Geneva, in a bid to reduce accidents involving the wild rodent.
The Contact Castor association had sought approval for the signs, featuring a red triangle and the image of a beaver, on a section of the road near a Rhône River dam used as a corridor by the animals.
The group is upset by the federal government’s decision, which it regards as overly bureaucratic.
“Accidents on the road cause many beaver deaths,” Olivier Bodmer, founder of Contact Castor, told the Tribune de Genève newspaper.
“It’s also a question of safety for motorists,” Bodmer said.
Beavers can weigh close to 30 kilograms and a collision with one can cause major damage to a vehicle, he indicated.
The signs — the first of their kind in Switzerland — were nonetheless removed earlier this month at the insistence of federal authorities.
The only wildlife warning road sign permitted by the highways office is one with a red triangle surrounding an image of a deer.
This is regardless of whether the animals in the area of the sign are other species, such as foxes, badgers, wild boars or hedgehogs.
Gottlieb Dändliker, cantonal wildlife inspector, believes the signs made sense.
“It is genetically important that families of beavers living upstream and downstream of the dam can mix,” he told the Tribune de Genève.
After becoming extinct in Switzerland, beavers were reintroduced to the country in the late 1950s.
They can now be found in several regions, apart from Geneva.
China's Premier Li Keqiang has slammed the European Union for plans to probe the country's telecom products and impose taxes on its solar panels, Chinese state media reported on Saturday. READ () »
Tibetan exiles in Bern on Friday urged Swiss authorities to take China to task for its human rights record during a landmark visit by Premier Li Keqiang focused squarely on a trade deal. READ () »
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday hailed a free trade deal with Switzerland as a landmark achievement, saying it had "huge meaning" for global trade and underscored Beijing's growing openness to the world. READ () »
Steffan Millius grips his sword and makes his way through the throngs of people crowding into Appenzell's central square to take part in Switzerland's famous direct democracy in perhaps its purest form. READ () »
A University of Neuchâtel professor under fire for alleged plagiarism is now facing accusations of falsifying his CV. READ () »
The sailboat of Swiss explorer and adventurer Mike Horn was ordered seized by a Marseille court in a southern French port over a dispute involving a naval architect, according to a media report. READ () »
Geneva cantonal police raided eight erotic massage parlours on Tuesday for an investigation into tax fraud allegedly amounting to several million francs. READ () »
A diamond necklace from Geneva jeweller De Grisogono worth 2.5 million francs was reported stolen from Cannes on Thursday, just days after thieves made off with 1.4 million francs' worth of bling from Chopard, another jeweller from the Swiss city. READ () »
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sees a looming free-trade deal with Switzerland as a touchstone for Beijing's growing ties with foreign nations, he told a Swiss newspaper on Thursday ahead of a landmark visit to Europe. READ () »
Whether you have ever or never visited the Netherlands, the country that crowned a new monarch this year is also celebrating a wealth of special jubilees in its popular capital. Here’s the lowdown on why Amsterdam is the place to be in 2013. READ () »