June 14, 2016 – A new ruling in Canada now considers bestiality legal as long as there is no penetration performed during the sexual encounter.
Prior to this ruling, Canadian law had never used certain verbiage to explain how someone could be found guilty of committing bestiality. However, the British Columbia Court of Appeals decided that penetration has long been understood as an “essential element of bestiality.”
“Parliament adopted that term without adding a definition of it, and the legislative history and evolution of the relevant provisions show no intent to depart from the well-understood legal meaning of the term,” Justice Thomas Cromwell wrote as representative of the majority. The court determined this ruling with a 7-1 majority.
Peanut Butter and Photographs
Need for a vote came when lawyers for an unnamed man appealed a count of bestiality inside a 13 count conviction of sexual assault against his stepdaughters. “He attempted to make the dog have intercourse with her and, when that failed, he spread peanut butter on her vagina and took photographs while the dog licked it off. He later asked her to do this again so he could make a video,” the ruling stated.
Lawyers for the convicted man argued that an 1892 criminal code concerning bestiality, also expressed as “buggery” was widely understood to mean that penetration had to occur.
All but one of the Supreme Court Justices confirmed with their vote that Parliament had a well-understood legal meaning when they drafted laws around bestiality and decided they would not be changing it.
The people of Animal Justice are now hoping Parliament will change the law moving forward so animals will not be subject to this type of abuse.
“As of today, Canadian law gives animal abusers license to use animals for their own sexual gratification,” Executive Director of Animal Justice Camille Labchuk told The Independentin an email. “This is completely unacceptable, contrary to societal expectations, and cannot be allowed to continue.”
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