Sex with animals in Sweden will no longer be legal from next year.
The ban on bestiality will replace current guidelines which permit the act unless it can be proven the animal has been subjected to suffering.
“The government is now toughening bestiality laws so that there is no doubt that it’s prohibited to abuse animals,” Rural Affairs Minister Eskil Erlandsson announced in a statement.
Sex with animals - like this elk - will be illegal in Sweden from January 1
He added: “There should be no doubt whatsoever that bestiality is unacceptable,” The Local reported.
From January 1, any sexual act with an animal will be punishable by a fine and/ or up to two years in prison – even if the animal shows no signs of injury or suffering.
"It's very good that the law will be changed," a spokesman for the Swedish Federation of Veterinarians, Johan Beck-Friis, told AFP.
"It's very important that society makes a clear statement that it is unacceptable to use animals that way," he said.
Germany introduced the ban in December last year, where bestiality ceased being illegal in 1969 – although prosecutions have occurred where “significant harm” has been inflicted on an animal.
The amendment to the Animal Protection Code made it illegal to force an animal to commit "actions alien to the species".
The German legislation came amid a significant rise in the practice, with disturbing reports of the increasing popularity of “erotic zoos” where people sexually attracted to animals (known as zoophiles) are encouraged to visit and abuse animals including llamas and goats.
At the time, pro-zoophilia campaign group ZETA (Zoophiles Commitment to Tolerance and Enlightenment) vowed to legally challenge the ban.
Chairman Michael Kiok, who estimated the number of zoophiles in Germany to be around 100,000, told Taz.de: “Sex is not just penetration. You can masturbate the animal, lick his hand or lick or leave.
“Animals are much easier to understand that, say women.”
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