- Lars BarfoedJustice Minister
Ban Animal Rape in Denmark
Raping an animal carries no punishment in Denmark. According to the Danish law, it is legal to have sex with an animal, to spread animal pornography, and to have animal brothels. Although the legality of bestiality has been questioned on a number of occasions, a parliament majority believes that it is not necessary to ban sex with animals. Dyrenes Venner (Animal Friends) started a campaign in early 2010 for the introduction of a total ban. Recently, an episode in a TV programme about Danes who have sex with animals has sparked a new debate in Denmark.
- Justice Minister
I was shocked to learn that the laws in a modern country like Denmark still permit sexual intercourse between humans and animals to take place, when many countries have already introduced bans.
Disregarding the ethical issue of such an interspecies relation, considering that animals are incapable of expressing their consent or dissent to having sexual intercourse with a human, it is difficult to distinguish where such an act borders rape and/or abuse. In most countries, engaging in intercourse with a minor for instance is considered statutory rape and abuse, regardless of the circumstances. Rather than allowing such acts to continue, laws must prohibit all such sexual activities in order to prevent animal suffering.
Previous attempts to ban bestiality in Denmark have failed due to the assumption that sex with an animal does not necessarily constitute a violation of the animal, and that the current animal protection law and criminal law already provide protection against sexual abuse of animals. These laws are, however, insufficient as they at the very least do not account for the mental suffering that the animals endure. It is impossible to provide proof of suffering, although the animal has suffered mental trauma from being forced to participate in such an act. It is also difficult to determine the extent of animal suffering, as injuries often go by undetected (since the harmed animals are often not taken to a vet).
Sexual intercourse can be emotionally and physically detrimental for animals. Bestiality is a sexual assault and a clear violation of animal rights - it is unacceptable that animals should continue to suffer as a result of human sexual exploitation. This is a crime that must urgently be addressed. It is important to introduce legislative changes that aim to ban bestiality and forbid all forms of sexual intercourse, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of animals, and also to ban animal brothels and prohibit the manufacture, marketing and distribution of images and footage involving sexual intercourse with animals.
Thank you for your time.
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