Prohibition of Zoosexuality: legal situation in France

A guest post by Charles Menni


The French new Animal Welfare Law of 2021 is now reaching its third year and is now time for an assessment.

This law failed at its first objective as setting major steps into protecting animal welfare. Nevertheless, it came with a vast array of anti-bestiality measures.

However, even on the side of the fight against animal sexual abuse, the law is still far from reaching expectations. As the case law shows, penalties aren’t proportionate at all with the level of suffering endured by the animal. Having chosen “being the owner or the guardian of the animal” as an aggravating factor, the law wrongfully sends the following message: if you abuse someone else’s animal your punishment will be lower.

In terms of the fight against sexual offences, the lawmaker promised that this law would enable to catch “zoophiles”, having portrayed us as “future sexual offenders” ready to “switch to human abuse”. The research already demonstrates that the thesis lack scientific support at best, and are the product of an anti-zoo hate campaign at worst. Moreover, during the debates on zoosexuality, the existence of people that are truly loving their animals – considering them as partners – have been set aside so that only the most sinister cases would be mentioned.

The prohibition of all forms of zoosexuality, regardless of any infliction of violence or coercion, is a very dogmatic choice. By taking a very conservative stance on the number of artificial inseminations conducted in France, we founded out that zoosexual acts would only represent less than 0,1 % of all human – animal sexual contacts. Furthermore, we should remind ourselves that it is also possible to legally castrate any animal without any medical need. Hence, we can state that the aim of this law isn’t to protect animal sexual integrity.

To conclude, this report reasserts that it is essential to recognize the existence of people that are truly loving their animals, those being at the core of their sexual orientation. Thus, it isn’t a question of sexual offending or violence, but simply of love and acceptance. This law and the arguments that have been used to justify it recalls the ones that were once used to discriminate against homosexuals and queer people in general, as those were considered deviants until recently. This report demonstrates the reality of zoosexuality, one that is very far from the one portrayed in the media.

Click here to read the full report