Finland’s Bestiality Problem: It’s Legal to Have Sex With An Animal

ft-sheep

Picture: Stanze/Flickr

Small and defenseless. Terrified, tied up and gagged with no means of escape. Beaten until you are almost out of breath. Finding yourself within the confines of a room where torture, physical and mental pain takes precedence. With breath still in your lungs, you become a victim of sexual abuse by a member of another species, a protector turned predator, one who you maybe once trusted but has now become the nightmare of your day.

At this point, you can only pray for death to come take you to a happy place, a “sanctuary” where you can be hurt no more, because you know if you survive this, your predator will once again return to perpetuate this dastardly act. You ask yourself so many questions, because you don’t understand what is happening to you. Why isn’t anyone coming to your aid?

The reason you are being allowed to go through all this is because you are weaker, have no voice, and unfortunate to be an animal in a country where exploiting your kind for sexual gratification is legal.

Bestiality is a form of sexual activity that involves humans having cross-species sex with animals. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), bestiality/zoophilia has been identified as a form of mental disorder that gives humans the intrinsic urge to exploit their sexual desires with animals. Especially domesticated ones like dogs, sheep and horses.

Zoophilia has been identified as a form of mental disorder that gives humans the intrinsic urge to exploit their sexual desires with animals.

There is a tentative relationship between sex offenses that are committed on animals and humans. A 2002 study found that 96 percent of juveniles who had sexual conduct with animals also admitted to sex offenses against humans. The study found that 96% of the juveniles who had engaged in sex with nonhuman animals also admitted to sex offenses against human, reporting more offenses against humans than other sex offenders their same age and ethnicity.

Those juveniles who had engaged in sex with animals were similar to other sex offenders in that they also came from families with less affirming and more incendiary communication, lower attachment, less adaptability, and less positive environments. Those juveniles who had engaged in sex with animals reported victimization histories with more emotional abuse and neglect and a higher number of victimization events than other offenders. This would seem to indicate that sex with animals may be an important indicator of potential or co-occurring sex offenses against humans, severe family dysfunction, and that abuse that should be addressed in multiple domains: psychological intervention, juvenile justice programs, and public policy.

I have seen graphic images of “raped dogs ended up dead” in Denmark before animal brothels and bestiality were banned in 2015. I asked myself, how can humans, let alone an animal, survive this? I felt distraught, in shock, and devastated at the sight that confronted me – words are unable to accurately capture the emotions that I felt. Dogs tied and gagged so they can’t harm their predators. They cannot speak nor can they fight back, and few survive after the long, hellish experience.

As an international student, one of the most rewarding experiences in Finland is how much animals are loved and the sacrifices that many owners make for their beloved pets, where they are often considered family. Coming from a country where dogs are eaten in some parts, and also a place with little or no animal rights laws, I repeatedly asked myself how can a people treat animals with so much affection and respect? Needless to say, I began to see the wonderful sides to this lovely creatures and I fell in love with their position in Finnish society.

For a country that prides itself on animal rights, Finland along with Hungary and Romania remain the only countries in the EU where this appalling act of sexual exploitation of animals is legal. In Finland, it’s perfectly legal to have sex with an animal if it doesn’t cause physical harm or injury. As these acts often happen in private or behind closed doors without eye witnesses or supervision, it’s almost impossible to testify to the animal’s suffering. “We now know that it has to include a lot more than is generally thought. Bestiality is a taboo subject, and people don’t want to talk about it. However, it would be important to have discussion,” says Minna Ruotsalo, an animal welfare lawyer, in a YLE article published last year.

For a country that prides itself on animal rights, Finland along with Hungary and Romania remain the only countries in the EU where this appalling act of sexual exploitation of animals is legal.
ft-horses

Picture: .cristoph.G./Flickr

Outside of the direct pain inflicted through sex between two mismatched species, there are several other ways in which these activities can have adverse effects on the animal and the human. Conditions that are transferred from humans to animals are referred to as anthroponotic diseases, often causing severe harm to the animals as the receive a lower standard of care relative to humans.

There are also several diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans through sex. Leptospirosis is carried by, dogs, horses, and sheep, and can be transmitted through any contact with an animal’s sexual organs. The infection generally leads to meningitis and about 10% of cases are life-threatening. Echinococcosis is carried by cats and dogs and involves the transmission of parasitic worms from the faeces of the animal. The onset of this disease often has no symptoms and this phase can last for a year, complicating diagnosis. Eventually cysts will begin to grow in the liver, brain and lungs, as well as other organs. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal. The ubiquitous rabies is present in the saliva of cats, dogs and horses, and is probably the most severe disease a zoophile can catch. In unvaccinated humans the disease is almost always fatal if treatment is not undertaken swiftly.

While the world looks up to Europe as a model of civilization as well as human and animal rights, a simple google search about animal rape cases that had been reported in Europe brings many shocking search results. In order to protect animals, this obscene act should be legislated against, and people who suffer from this condition should be offered the correct mental health services, and if necessary, feel the full force of the law.