German lawmakers have pledged to ban sex with animals and the “pimping” of them to others.
The country's coalition government plans to debate legislation which will enforce a fine of up to €25,000 (£20,000) against anyone found to be having or attempting sexual acts with animals, Taz.de reported.
Bestiality ceased being illegal in 1969, and has since then only been against the law if “significant harm” is inflicted on the animal, AFP said.
But there has been 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.
According to IBTimes, the amendment to the law is likely to be passed in mid December and will no longer depend on whether harm is inflicted, but whether the animal is forced to commit "actions alien to the species".
Hans-Michael Goldmann, head of the parliamentary commission looking into the subject, told Bild: “With this explicit ban, it will be easier to impose penalties and to improve animal protection.”
However, pro-zoophilia campaign group ZETA (Zoophiles Commitment to Tolerance and Enlightenment) says it will legally challenge the ban.
Zeta Chairman Michael Kiok, who lives with his dog Cessy, estimates the number of zoophiles in Germany to be at 100,000, and insists he does not engage in any activities which harm animals.
“Animals are much easier to understand that, say women.”