According to the Sydney Daily Telegraph
, the German government is preparing to amend
the country's Animal Welfare Act to make bestiality, sometimes called 'animal rape,' punishable by a fine of up to €25,000 ($32,400).
The new law would make it illegal for people to "use [animals] for their own sexual activities or sexual acts of third parties," including the "pimping" of animals. It would also outlaw the training of animals for sex with humans.
Bestiality has been legal in Germany since 1969, the same year that laws banning homosexuality were stricken. Under current law, human-animal sex is only a crime if the animal is severely injured as a result of the act.
Animal rights advocates successfully argued that the lack of criminal penalties for bestiality has led to a proliferation of abuses, including 'erotic zoos' and 'animal brothels' where animals are rented for sexual exploitation.
According to the Daily Mail
, a variety
of animals, "from llamas to goats," can be bought for sex at 'erotic zoos' across Germany.
The group Veterinarians Against Zoophilia (the sexual attraction to animals) pushed for the reinstatement of bestiality laws, claims that thousands of Germans are involved in the zoophilia scene.
One zoophilia group, Zoophiles for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (ZETA), said it would take legal action against the proposed amendment, arguing that "perceptions of morality have no place in law."
"Especially if they are so hypocritical," ZETA chairman Michael Kiok, who claims to live in a romantic relationship with his dog, told
the German newspaper die Tageszeitung
ZETA members claim to only have sex with animals if the activity is consensual and does not involve zoosadism
, or the harming of animals for sexual purposes.