German lawmakers plan to introduce a new statute that will make sexual acts with animals illegal, a move that has brought a surprising amount of criticism by “zoophilia” advocates. Under the new law, those found guilty of sexual acts with animals can be fined up to $32,000.
Which begs the question: why wasn’t this already illegal in Germany?
The short answer: It was. Bestiality had long been illegal in Germany thanks to the same penal code statute that criminalized sexual relations between men—a law that was struck down in 1969. The German parliament will begin debating a new Animal Protection Code this week, which aims to outlaw the use of animals for “individual sexual acts,” the British Daily Mail reports. Current bestiality laws only make the act illegal if “significant harm” is inflicted upon the animal.
Pro-animal sex group Zoophile Engagement for Tolerance and Information (ZETA) has led a campaign against the measure. “We will take legal action against this,” chairman Michael Kiok told Spiegel Online. “We see animals as partners and not as a means of gratification. We don’t force them to do anything.” Kiok has an Alsatian named Cessie.
Hans-Michael Goldmann, head of the parliamentary committee investigating the new amendment, told the AFP that the new legislation was intended to clarify the current legal position.
“With this explicit ban, it will be easier to impose penalties and to improve animal protection,” Goldmann told the German tabloid Bild.