Germany seeks bestiality ban to halt surge in 'zoophilia'

Germany is finally moving to close a legal loophole that permits 'zoophiles' to have sex with pets

LAST UPDATED AT 12:01 ON Wed 28 Nov 2012

GERMANY is set to bring back an old law banning sex with animals due to a sharp rise in bestiality and websites promoting 'zoophilia'.

When the country's animal welfare laws were relaxed in 1969, sex with animals dropped off the statute books. But an increase in the practice, and the proliferation of websites and even brothels devoted to it, have prompted urgent calls for a new ban, says the Daily Mail.

The German parliament begins debating changes to the national Animal Protection Code this week with the agricultural committee of the Bundestag calling for fines of up to £20,000 for a first offence. Chairman Hans-Michael Goldmann wants to stop anyone using an animal for "sexual acts" and stop creatures being "pimped" to others.

Der Spiegel claims there are more than 100,000 zoophiles in Germany. Sex with animals is specifically forbidden by law in the UK and other European countries including France, Switzerland and the Netherlands with Sweden preparing its own ban.

Zoophiles say they treat animals as "equals" and never force them to do anything against their will. They have vowed to fight any legal move to outlaw their lifestyle, says The Guardian.

An animal is "quite capable of showing precisely what it wants and does not want," said Michael Kiok who lives with an Alsation called Cessie and is chairman of a German zoophile pressure group with about 100 members. He said his organisation would mount a legal challenge if there was a move to outlaw bestiality.

Zoophilia has become much more popular in recent years and there are even 'erotic zoos' in Germany where people can pay to abuse animals such as llamas and goats, says the Mail. · 

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Reading the back to the German newspaper sources, the legislation supporters state that the Animal Protection Code will be amended to state that no animal should be forced into "actions alien to the species," including sex with a human.

By which definition it is presumably not an "action alien to the species" for livestock to be raised and killed for food long before their natural lifespan?

Most arguments against bestiality are unfortunately based around such "double standards" and made without thinking through the logical consequences - read, for example, Michael Roberts' legal dissertation on "The Jurisprudence of Bestiality" through to its logical conclusion that legislation against bestiality only makes sense when it is written within a clearly defined "animal rights" framework.

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