Forms of sexual abuse of animals other than intercourse (penetration) are not illegal in Canada. This is a decision of Canada’s Supreme Court. The counter argument is that all forms of sexual abuse of animals should be illegal. They are not because the criminal code (the criminal law) in Canada does not define “bestiality”. As a consequence the Supreme Court had to decide what bestiality means in relation to the Canadian criminal code.
The Supreme Court stated in a landmark case of R. v. D.L.W:
Bestiality is not defined in the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46 , which provides simply:
160 (1) Every person who commits bestiality is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction….The issue at trial and both levels of appeal concerns whether penetration is an essential element of the offence.
The court came to the conclusion that sexual abuse other than intercourse is not criminal conduct. I don’t have the time to read the entire judgement but if you wish you can read it here. The court would have relied on past cases (precedents) and the existing law to come to this decision.
The way forward is for the Canadian Parliament to amend the law and define “bestiality” and in that definition include forms of animal sexual abuse other than intercourse.
Judges can only interpret the law. If Canada is to fully protect animals from all kinds of sexual abuse, which makes sense to almost everyone, the politicians will have to do some work and sharpen up the statute.
There is a petition: Make all bestiality illegal in Canada.