September 17, 2011 Comments Off

The History Behind the Anti-Bestiality Bill

Posted in Cruelty Cases | Humane Education | Legislation

On March 1, 2006, Washington State Senate Bill 6417 passed the House of Representatives 98-0. The bill, commonly referred to as the anti-bestiality bill, ensured that Washington State would no longer be a haven for those who engage in this repugnant activity. Bestiality is the act of having intercourse with nonhumans and is also referred to as zoophilia. When the bill was signed, Washington State became one of 28 states with an anti-bestiality bill on its books. Bestiality is now illegal in 32 U.S. states, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Turkey, and Ghana.

If someone in Washington State is caught engaging in bestiality, they will be charged with a Class C felony, one of the strongest statutes in the country. This bill had received wide support from state elected representatives, but faced a dauntingly short 60-day session. The bill wouldn’t have been passed out of the committees and to the floor for a vote if not for the supporters who called, emailed, and wrote letters of support whenever the bill stalled. The bill was close to death on more than one occasion, but a small, passionate, focused group of people ensured that the bill survived.

SB 6417 was borne from a 2005 bestiality case. On July 14th, 2005, a man allegedly died from injuries sustained during sexual relations with a horse. It is further alleged that this took place on a farm that was well-known for arranging bestiality liaisons. He was a visitor at the farm.

Although this fatality was abhorrent in itself, we found that bestiality was NOT illegal in the state of Washington. We simply couldn’t believe it.

It was further learned that the location where the incident took place was well-known on the internet. The owners operated a “farm” where dogs and farm animals were used in the making of bestiality videos for sale on the internet. This farm, according to the sheriff, was well-known to sexual deviants via the internet. After years of operation, the farm came to light only because this customer died from injuries sustained during intercourse with a horse. (He had been rushed to the hospital and “dropped off” by another patron. When the patient died from a perforated colon, hospital videos showed the other man’s license plate on the car that sped away from the emergency room. The man was found and admitted to what had happened).

The Prosecuting Attorney was unable to bring charges against the men involved in the case because it was not against the law to practice this form of behavior in Washington State despite what is known about this form of sexual deviancy:

• Zoophilia is a recognized sexual pathology by the psychiatric community

• It is a common precursor (or joint sexual proclivity) with child sexual abuse

• “Zoophiles” fall into the same recognized Psychiatric Sexual Disorder genre as pedophiles, necrophiles (having intercourse with corpses), asphixiaphiles (suffocation during intercourse), etc.

• Their predilection begins at the same time (during puberty) and is treated by the same psychiatric sexual predator treatment protocols

• In all cases, these people view their targets as “less significant” than they are

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