In Switzerland, it is illegal to own just one guinea pig
Animal rights are a good thing, and people should be held accountable for how they treat their animals. But from a legal point of view, animal rights can be a bit of a minefield. Where do you draw the line with regard to "acceptable behaviour" towards animals?
The Swiss, it would seem, have a more freehand approach to drawing this line. Swiss animal welfare laws are among the most severe in the world. For instance, it is illegal to simply flush your unwanted goldfish down the toilet. You need to dispatch the fish in a dignified manner. Recommended methods are hitting the fish sharply on the head, or submerging it in a mixture of water, clove oil, and alcohol.
Then there is the matter of "social animals," those deemed to have a "high emotional need for companionship." It is illegal to keep only one of these animals. So, if one of your social animals die, you will either need to purchase another as a companion or dispose of the remaining animal—in a dignified manner, of course.
However, if you are a guinea pig owner who wakes up one morning, and suddenly finds yourself outside the law owing to an overnight tragedy, not too worry, a whole new industry has sprung up where you can rent a suitable companion for your remaining pet in mourning until that one passes on, too.