Having sex with animals is now legal in Canada, according to an astonishing new ruling by the Canadian Supreme Court that has angered animal rights activists.
The new law states that Canadians are now permitted to have sexual relations with animals so long as there is no penetration involved.
According to the Independent, the determination stemmed from a case involving a British Columbia man convicted of 13 counts of sexually assaulting his stepdaughters – including one count of bestiality. But the man, identified only as “DLW”, was acquitted of the bestiality count under the new ruling.
DLW’s attorneys argued that bestiality was linked to “buggery” – or sodomy – with animals beginning with an 1892 criminal code. Bestiality was first used in a 1955 code, but still was not defined to encompass every sex act with animals.
“As of today, Canadian law gives animal abusers license to use animals for their own sexual gratification,” executive director of Animal Justice Camille Labchuk told The Independent via emailed statement. “This is completely unacceptable, contrary to societal expectations, and cannot be allowed to continue.”
The Guardian reports that a study last year looked at hundreds of members of the Canadian online “zoosexual community”, many of whom feel they are treated unfairly by the mainstream. One individual commented: “I sincerely hope that one day genuine zoophiles can turn the tide. However, bearing in the mind the current attitudes in society this won’t be easy.”
No reliable statistics exist on how many Canadians engage in bestiality and which animals they have sex with. However, recent examples from academia and the news include:
In a 2009 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior about zoophilia (an abnormal fondness of animals), a 47-year-old married father of two describes his sexual interest in horses:
“When I was first married, I tried so hard to be good and didn’t have any sexual contact with equines for about a year. After that, I couldn’t suppress it any more and my contact with the horses rose while my relations with my wife declined. I tried to be a normal husband but human sex always felt wrong, I could do it but I couldn’t learn to like it […] Even closing my eyes and pretending she was a horse didn’t work after a while.”
Last year a doctor was found guilty of possessing footage of bestiality, including a video of a man having sex with a snake.
Earlier this year a 64-year-old was charged by police after footage was found of her having sex with a St Bernard, a black labrador and an Alsatian. A vet also pleaded guilty to criminal charges in 2014 after footage was discovered of him having sex with a dog and a horse.
Police arrested a man in 2014 for allegedly attempting to have sex with a cow while another man filmed it.
Of the animals mentioned above, dogs and cows seem to be the most common victims according to a 2002 survey of 93 zoophiles by Dr Hani Miletski.