BERLIN — Germany is set to tighten its laws against bestiality in a bid to improve animal welfare, a lawmaker involved in drafting the legislation said on Monday.
Bestiality was removed from Germany's penal code in 1969 and since then has only been against the law if "significant harm" is inflicted on the animal.
But Hans-Michael Goldmann, head of the parliamentary commission looking into the subject, told AFP he wanted to "ban bestiality in a draft law on animal protection".
According to left-leaning daily Tageszeitung (TAZ), the new legislation will make bestiality punishable by a fine of up to 25,000 euros ($32,000).
The act will no longer depend on whether harm is inflicted, but rather on whether the animal is forced to commit "actions alien to the species" according to the draft legislation.
A spokesman for the agriculture ministry told a regular government briefing that the new legislation aims to clarify the legal position.
"With this explicit ban, it will be easier to impose penalties and to improve animal protection," Goldmann told mass circulation Bild.
But the president of a group representing people who engage in the act of bestiality said he would take legal action.
"It is unthinkable that any sexual act with an animal is punished without proof that the animal has come to any harm," Michael Kiok said in an interview with the TAZ.