- The Washington Times - Friday, June 10, 2016

An unnamed sex offender from British Columbia had his bestiality conviction tossed out Thursday in light of a 7-1 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada holding that bestiality laws currently on the books require penetration of an animal to have occurred in order to prosecute for the offense.

The tribunal essentially ruled that its hands were tied due to the statutory history and language of the relevant law.

“Although bestiality was often subsumed in terms such as sodomy or buggery, penetration was the essence — ‘the defining act’ — of the offence,” The Independent quoted from the high court’s ruling.

In her lone dissent, Justice Rosalie Abella dismissed the majority’s rationale. “Acts with animals that have a sexual purpose are inherently exploitative whether or not penetration occurs,” she said.

An animal rights lobby group named Animal Justice quickly reacted to the ruling by calling on Parliament to update Canada’s animal-protection laws.

“As of today, Canadian law gives animal abusers license to use animals for their own sexual gratification,” the group’s executive director Camille Labchuk said in an email to The Independent. “This is completely unacceptable, contrary to societal expectations, and cannot be allowed to continue.”

The man benefiting from the high court’s ruling, named in documents by the initials “DLW,” is a sex offender who was also “convicted of 13 counts sexually assaulting his stepdaughters.” Those charges were unaffected by yesterday’s decision.

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