Thank you for not skipping by this article as soon as you saw the title. Most would. The gut-wrenching horror of bestiality is too much for us to process, we feel uncomfortable at the merest mention of it, self-preservation kicks in & we switch off immediately. I am asking people to be brave and face this hateful act of violence because I believe that by ignoring it, we are allowing the monsters who engage in bestiality to hide. There is safety in the shadows that we create when we stay silent. It is much easier for these acts to go unnoticed or unreported when everybody is so repulsed there is no conversation and therefore no awareness raising. Awareness raising is never a solution to a social problem, but it is a powerful tool and used in conjunction with political and legal campaigns it is a powerful driver for change. I have noticed that the few organisations pushing for change in the legal and political arena are unsupported by the public. This needs to change Speaking to a number of people across the socio-economic spectrum, I was caught off guard by the number of people who claimed to be unaware that there are people out there having sex with animals. With no reason to disbelieve them it worried me horribly. If someone in their social circle were acting oddly & engaging in bestiality, would it even occur to them that this act of violation was taking place? Even if they felt uncomfortable with a situation would they even consider that sexual assault was the reason for the odd behaviour?
Why does bestiality occur? Bestiality can be divided in to three categories
1-Opportunistic. The rapist may be isolated and lonely. They do not have a sexual partner & so choose to engage in sex acts with their, or somebody else’s dog. The rapist may be a youth curious about sex who decides to abuse a dog out of curiosity. In one of the countries, we work in it is well accepted in remote areas that young men have their first sexual experience with a dog. Despite it being illegal it is ignored and, in some cases, considered to be a right.
2-Fixated. The rapist claims to be in love with the dog and insists that the dog enjoys the rape. They will insist that the rape is consensual. They may belong to private groups where they can support each other and even in some cases such as Germany campaign for the right to bestiality without judgement.
3-Sadistic behaviour. The rapist is driven by the need to dominate & excited by the suffering of others. They may derive sexual pleasure from the suffering of their victims. The dog may be physically injured or killed during the rape or shortly after.
You might assume that bestiality is illegal worldwide. This assumption is incorrect. There are countries that have no animal welfare laws as such & several countries where bestiality is not a crime. In the case of countries which do have laws in place to protect animals from sexual assault these can be weak & poorly defined. My mind turns to the unintended consequences of laws which prohibit sexual contact with an animal. Imagine how that may affect practices such as animal husbandry. Would breeders of dogs or zoo animals still be allowed to collect semen samples & artificially inseminate. Would farmers be able to continue with some of their routine practices which involve contact with an animal’s genitalia. And quite possibly the most interesting point is consent. Could a case be won based on a non-human being unable to give their consent. If such a prosecution were won in favour of a non-human, it would have far reaching consequences for industries which rely on animal exploitation such as the meat industry. No animal consents to be killed for a dinner plate. And where non-humans are excluded from laws protecting them from some human acts of violence and not others surely, we need to question the morality of our decision making. Or would this be of no importance to decision makers who already exclude lab animals from welfare laws.
You may think that bestiality only happens in countries with no animal welfare laws and a track record of abuses against non-humans, but you would be wrong. It is a global problem. There have been prosecutions made public against people living in the United Kingdom, America, and countries throughout Europe. Reports have circulated regarding animal brothels where dogs are kept for the purpose of human sexual gratification in exchange for money. We have been advised of ranches & farms having special events where animals can be sexually assaulted by guests. We have not investigated this but trust our sources. We currently have two dogs under our care who are victims of rape. Both females. Many of you who follow our work will know the heart-breaking story of Hamish a young dog who came in suffering from advanced mange. Hamish had been repeatedly anally raped. His injuries were so severe he lost his life to them. In all but one case it is unlikely that the rapists will ever be found and brought to justice. We must acknowledge that this abuse happens. Not least for the sake of our dogs but because bestiality is intersectional. Many abusers will also engage in domestic abuse and paedophilia either at the same time or later in life. In extreme cases bestiality has been linked with homicide. No matter how difficult it is for us to face this abuse we cannot & should not turn away from it Raising awareness & acknowledging the abuse will support those fighting for change. They need us & so do the animals.
Thank you for reading this to the end.