Florida Passes Anti-Bestiality Law

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on May 09, 2011 6:56 AM

If you were planning on getting down and dirty with an animal, now there's one more state you should avoid.

Lawmakers have taken an important break from balancing budgets and keeping crime in check by passing a law banning bestiality in Florida.

The bestiality bill bans sexual activity between humans and animals. The bill, championed by State Senator Nan Rich, passed both the Florida Senate and House, reports NBC Miami. Next stop: Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Sen. Rich has been campaigning for a bestiality bill for years after a series of high-profile cases involving humans having sexual relations with humans. One case involved a man who accidentally choked a family goat to death during a sexual act. In another, a blind man was accused of having sex with his guide dog.

Florida has never had a bestiality statute before. The new statute would make sexual acts with an animal a misdemeanor. If signed off, the bill will take effect in October of this year.

For those scratching their heads as to why this even needs to be codified in a statute, it is actually not that odd for a state to have an anti-bestiality law. Approximately 30 states have outlawed sexual conduct between humans and animals. The laws vary from felony statutes to misdemeanor statutes, and some of them have been on the books for over a century.

Many of the newly passed anti-bestiality laws not only focus on the animal cruelty aspect, but also on providing psychological counseling for perpetrators of the act, according to the Animal Legal & Historical Center. Even if there is no specific anti-bestiality law on point, bestiality would already tend to fall under animal cruelty statutes or other sex crimes codes, making it outlawed in most states.

One thing is for sure, Sen. Rich is close to his goal: no more bestiality in Florida.

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