A ban on bestiality passed parliament as expected, with all parties voting in favour of the ban with the exception of Liberal Alliance, which voted against the bill, and the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), which abstained.
The bill to outlaw animal sex was first introduced in October by Food and Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen, who said that allowing bestiality in Denmark was damaging the country’s image.
“It’s important that Denmark is not viewed as a country where sexual relations with animals are allowed,” he said in February when the proposal began its way through parliament.
In recent years, Denmark has been left geographically isolated as the only country not to ban bestiality. Sweden banned it in 2013, while Norway outlawed it in 2011. Sex with animals is also illegal in Germany. This has reportedly led to an underground animal sex tourism industry in Denmark, which was the subject of a Vice documentary in August 2014 that once again brought international attention to bestiality in Denmark.
The Danish Animal Ethics Council (Det Dyreetiske Råd) has argued against the need for a ban, saying that the nation’s current laws – which allow bestiality except in cases where the animal can be proved to have suffered – are enough.
Jørgensen disagreed and said the time had come to implement a full ban.
“I have decided that we should ban sex with animals. That is happening for numerous reasons. The most important is that in the vast majority of cases it is an attack against the animals. And under all circumstances, any doubts about it should go to the animals’ benefit. They naturally cannot say no to going along with it. Therefore, it should be banned,” Jørgensen told Ekstra Bladet last year.
Bestiality is now punishable by up to one year in prison for a first offence or two years for repeat offenders. The bill also included restrictions on where dogs can be sold in an effort to cut down on impulse buys that are later regretted.