Dog-eating an exaggerated myth

As the proud owner of the first Great Swiss Mountain dog to come to New Zealand, I take exception to the unfounded assertion that 240,000 Swiss or 3 per cent of our population indulge in the despicable habit of consuming pet meat (Swiss asked to stop eating their pets, November 28).

This story has been invented by an animal rights extremist and made it into London's The Times newspaper. Here are the facts: selling, buying or trading cat or dog meat is illegal in Switzerland. In any country, some primitive individuals may eat their own or stolen pets, but I categorically state that this is not at all a widespread Swiss habit and that the 3 per cent (that would make 130,000 Kiwis) are totally made up.

Just like New Zealanders, we Swiss love our cats and dogs and are proud of our native breeds, among them the well-known Bernese Mountain Dogs and St Bernards. As for the ''wife of a Swiss ambassador'' who, according to the article, explained the disgusting habit with the ''high price of Swiss meat'', this person does not exist. I have checked.

Dr DAVID VOGELSANGER

Ambassador of Switzerland

to New Zealand

The Dominion Post