Penal Sanctioning of Zoophilia in Light of the Legal Status of Animals—A Comparative Analysis of Fifteen European Countries
Department of Veterinary Forensics and Economics, University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, 1078 Budapest, Hungary
Globalization Competence Center, Széchenyi István University, 9026 Győr, Hungary
Lajos Lőrinc Institute of Administrative Law, Faculty of Science of Public Governance and Administration, National University of Public Service, 1083 Budapest, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 1 June 2020 / Accepted: 6 June 2020 / Published: 12 June 2020
The aim of the research is to examine the legal status of animals and the criminal law regulation of zoophilia (commonly referred to as “bestiality”) in 15 European countries. These two factors were chosen because they show how societies relate to animals through legislation, that is, how much animals are protected because of their inherent value, and not just because of the interests of humans. In the case of their legal status, the study examined the shift from viewing animals as a simple legal object to giving them special legal status. This research also examined criminal law definitions related to zoophilia. The results of compiling and comparing country rankings for zoophilia and legal status show that countries that place greater emphasis on regulating zoophilia are also more likely to have clearer rules in place regarding the legal status of animals. Switzerland is a positive example of both factors, while Italy faces many challenges in establishing specific legislation.