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Sexual relations with animals (zoophilia): an unrecognized problem in animal welfare legislation

By G. Bolliger, A. F. Goetschel

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Sexual contact with animals (zoophilia) has always been part of human culture, and is more widespread than generally thought. While it was severely penalized on ethical and religious grounds for centuries, the age of Enlightenment led to more rational views on this topic and, consequently, milder punishment, until eventually the sanctions were lifted in most countries. Apart from presenting a summary about the changes in legislation dealing with zoophilia over time, this article provides an outline of today's legal position on zoophilia throughout the world. A closer look at the existing laws reveals loopholes in the criminal codes and animal welfare legislations regarding the punishment of zoophilic acts. Taking into account the "dignity of the animal" should be an important factor in the revision of existing laws. This will be discussed.

Date 2005
Publication Title Bestiality and zoophilia: sexual relations with animals
Pages 23-45
ISBN/ISSN 978-1-55753-412-5 1-55753-412-8
Publisher Purdue University Press
Location of Publication Indiana
Language English
Author Address Foundation for the Animal in the Law, Wildbachstrasse 46, Postfach 1033, CH-8034 Zurich, Switzerland.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Law and legal issues
  3. Laws and regulations
  4. Legislation
  5. Sexual behavior
  6. Social psychology and social anthropology