Bestiality, or zoophilia, is still kind of legal in many parts of the world. That's slowly changing, however, as more countries begin to adopt laws that ban the practice in all its forms. The latest to do so is Sweden.
The Swedish government indicated today that it will impose a total ban on bestiality starting January 1, 2014. The previous law only punished cases of bestiality in which the animal in question was visibly injured or abused. Sweden's Minister for Rural Affairs, Eskil Erlandsson, said the new law will erase any and all ambiguity:
"The government is now tightening the rules surrounding bestiality so there will be no doubt about the fact that it is prohibited to inflict suffering on animals."
Once the new law takes effect, those caught performing any sexual act with an animal with be punished with a fine, up to two years in prison, or both. It's actually a pretty light sentence compared to other countries where such acts carry a prison sentence of six or more years.
As expected, many animal rights groups and veterinary groups voiced support for the law. Many say taking a hardline stance against bestiality is required as it was sometimes hard to convict somebody of animal cruelty in the past. The new law will make it much easier to ensure those convictions in place.
The original report, however, did not gauge the response from pro-bestiality factions in Sweden. Granted, there may not be any, but the spirited response from zoophiles in Germany certainly has one expecting protests from those who claim they just love their pets a little bit more than others.
Once Sweden joins Germany in banning bestiality, it will be the seventh country in the European Union to do so. Countries such Poland, Italy, Finland and Belgium do not have any laws on the books banning bestiality. There is, however, an EU directive that tasks countries to ban the practice. So zoophiles hoping to escape a country that bans the practice may not have anywhere else to run if more countries begin to ban the practice.[h/t: AAP via News.com]