Sex acts with animals are deemed legal in Canada, so long as there is no penetration involved.
This comes after a surprise ruling issued by the Supreme Court set the precedence in a case involving a British Columbia man convicted of 13 counts sexually assaulting his stepdaughters. The case included one count of bestiality for trying to get his dog to have sex with his stepdaughter.
The man, identified only as “DLW”, was acquitted of the bestiality count with the new ruling. DLW’s attorneys argued that bestiality linked to “buggery” or sodomy with animals beginning with an 1892 criminal code.
DLW is serving a 16 year prison sentence in Canada. He brought the bestitality conviction to the court on appeal. He had smeared peanut butter on the genitals of his victims and had the family dog lick it off while he videotaped the act. Court documents showed that DLW attempted to have the dog perform intercourse on the stepdaughter, but that ultimately failed.
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The court maintained that the charge of bestiality did not apply since there was no penetration. The court ruled by a 7–1 majority that bestiality required actual penetration. The ruling said,
“Although bestiality was often subsumed in terms such as sodomy or buggery, penetration was the essence – ‘the defining act’ – of the offence.”
Thus, the court ruled that “there is no hint in any of the parliamentary record that any substantive change to the elements of the offence of bestiality was intended”
Justice Rosalie Abella refused to assent to the judgment suggesting that the court refuse the man’s appeal on the ground that “Acts with animals that have a sexual purpose are inherently exploitative whether or not penetration occurs.
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In response to the ruling, the executive director of Animal Justice Ms Camille Labchuk said:
“As of today, Canadian law gives animal abusers license to use animals for their own sexual gratification. This is completely unacceptable, contrary to societal expectations, and cannot be allowed to continue.”
“This much-needed bill updates the animal offences in the Criminal Code and closes this dangerous loophole to make it crystal clear that all forms of sexual activity between a person and an animal are unacceptable.”