• Sweden's news in English

Sweden proposes 'total' ban on bestiality

13 Jun 2013, 16:42

Published: 13 Jun 2013 16:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"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 said in a statement.

"There should be no doubt whatsoever that bestiality is unacceptable."

Until now, bestiality was illegal in Sweden only if it could be proven that the animal had been subjected to suffering.

Starting on January 1st, 2014, however, any sexual act with an animal will be punishable by a fine, a maximum prison sentence of two years, or both, even if the animal shows no sign of injury or suffering.

"I hope that this sort of act doesn't take place in society at all. And now we're putting that explicitly into law," Erlandsson told the TT news agency.

In 2008, Erlandsson came in for criticism for using graphic language during a debate on the floor of parliament in an attempt to describe the difficulty of legislating against bestiality.

While he first expressed his "disgust" for anyone who has sex with animals, Erlandsson continued to offer a graphic example to demonstrate that "what counts as sexual abuse of animals" isn't always easy to define, much to the surprise of fellow MPs.

"It was distasteful. It sunk to a horrendously low level. I don't think one needs to discuss details like that in the Riksdag," Social Democrat MP Monica Green told the Aftonbladet newspaper at the time.

"He mixed up people's sexuality with animals' sexuality. His example was also appalling."

While it's been nearly 18 months since the government first commissioned an inquiry into the bestiality ban, news that the law was finally on its way came as welcome news to Sweden's veterinarians.

"It's very good that the law will be changed," a spokesman for the Swedish Federation of Veterinarians (Sveriges Veterinärförbund), 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.

The ban will bring Sweden in line with a European Union directive.

Germany introduced a ban in December, following in the footsteps of Britain, France, and Switzerland among others.

The Swedish parliament is expected to pass the bill into law soon, as there is broad political consensus on the issue.

Story continues below…

According to Beck-Friis, under the current law veterinarians may suspect that an animal has been sexually abused but they are generally unable to prove it.

As a result, there are no statistics available on how common bestiality is in the country.

In 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available, about 100 cases of animals suffering injuries suspected of being related to bestiality were brought to the authorities' attention, Beck-Friis said.

AFP/TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available