Bestiality: which animals are most at risk

On Tuesday, a co-worker sent me a link to an article on the Cairns Times (which turned about to be a fake news site) about an Australian man feared dead after attempting to have sex with a crocodile.

A study last year – which used Foucault to make sense of the issue – looked at hundreds of members of the online zoosexual community, many of whom feelthey are treated unfairly by the mainstream. One individual commented: “I sincerely hope that one day genuine zoophiles can turn the tide. However, bearing in the mind the current attitudes in society this won’t be easy.”

But animal rights activists say bestiality is abusive. When Ohio recently moved towards outlawing bestiality, Leighann Lassiter, an animal cruelty policy director at the Humane Society, said “the passage of animal sexual abuse legislation is a great victory for the animals of Ohio”.

Of the 31 states in the US with laws specifically about sexual acts between humans and animals, 16 impose a felony and 15 impose a misdemeanor.

States with anti-bestiality laws.

States with anti-bestiality laws. Photograph: The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

No reliable statistics exist on how many people engage in bestiality around the world and which animals they have sex with. However, recent examples from academia and the news include:


In a 2009 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior about zoophilia (an abnormal fondness of animals), a 47-year-old married father of two describes his sexual interest in horses:

When I was first married, I tried so hard to be good and didn’t have any sexual contact with equines for about a year. After that, I couldn’t suppress it any more and my contact with the horses rose while my relations with my wife declined. I tried to be a normal husband but human sex always felt wrong, I could do it but I couldn’t learn to like it […] Even closing my eyes and pretending she was a horse didn’t work after a while.


Last year, a London doctor was found guilty of possessing footage of bestiality, including a video of a man having sex with a snake.


Earlier this year, a 64-year-old was charged by police after footage was found of her having sex with a St Bernard, a black labrador and an Alsatian. A British vet also pleaded guilty to criminal charges in 2014 after footage was discovered of him having sex with a dog and a horse.


New York police arrested a man in 2014 for allegedly attempting to have sex with a cow while another man filmed it.

Of the animals mentioned above, dogs and cows seem to be the most common victims according to a 2002 survey of 93 zoophiles by Dr Hani Miletski. Well, at least I think so. Miletski’s paperback is currently priced at $200 on Amazon (a bargain compared to the hardback price of $2,186.41) so I am relying on this psychologist’s write-up of her findings.

  • This article was amended on 21 June 2016 to clarify that the Cairns Times is not a real news site, and the story about the crocodile was fake. A Queensland police spokesman told Metro there was no record of the incident.
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