2004-04-6 La hollande pourrait interdire la bestialité (EN)

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Netherlands may ban bestiality

Agence France-Presse ^ | April 6, 2004 | From correspondents in The Hague

DUTCH Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman has told parliament that he is planning a formal ban on sexual relations with animals to protect the rights of pets and livestock.

He was responding to the complaints of several lawmakers, who were outraged that a man accused of raping horses walked free on the grounds that the animals had not physically suffered from the rape.

"I am considering a change to the current law to make all forms of bestiality illegal," Veerman said in a letter to Parliament, adding he hoped to have a draft measure ready within months.

A group of parliamentarians had argued in a letter to the minister that sex with animals was a "violation of their physical integrity", considering that the creatures were unable to give or withhold their consent.

Current Dutch health law lists some treatment of animals as punishable offenses, such as castrating one's own cat or using a dog for forced labour, but does not mention sexual intercourse.