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Sexual offences: Sweden joins list of countries to ban sex with animals

The Swedish Government has ended a bizarre legal loophole that meant that sex with animals was actually legal, reports The Daily Mail.

The act of performing a sexual act on an animal is known as bestiality and is commonly outlawed in most countries around the world, including in the UK where section 69 Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes it an offence to knowingly or recklessly perform a sexual act on an animal.

Sweden and Denmark have notoriously not carried laws prohibiting sexual acts with animals, although that now looks set to change as the Swedish Government announced plans to legislate.

"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," said the Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs Eskil Erlandsson.

Previously police had been unable to act because a loophole in Swedish law permitted sexual acts if it could be shown that the animal was not distressed, effectively acting as a form of consent.

The news of Sweden's new law comes hot on the heels of a legislation change announced in Germany in February this year that will outlaw sex with animals. The new law came after complaints that Germans had taken to visiting 'erotic zoos' where paying customers could have sex with animals including llamas and goats.

In the UK, sex with animals has actually been outlawed since 1290. Currently the offence carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison with a fine. Before 2003 the maximum sentence was life imprisonment.

The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 also made it an offence to sell, distribute or own bestiality pornographic material.

Sex with animals remains legal in Denmark and Belgium.

Source:

Sweden set to ban bestiality, scrapping legal loophole that made it legal 'if the animal did not suffer' (The Daily Mail)