Ohio statehouse

Sex with animals step closer to becoming illegal in Ohio

Having sexual contact with an animal is a step closer to becoming illegal in Ohio after the state Senate voted 31-0 Wednesday to strengthen Ohio law.

The bill now heads to the House.

Senate bill 195 would:

* Prohibit a person from engaging in sexual conduct with an animal and related acts;

* Provide for the seizure and impoundment of an animal that is the subject of a violation;

* Authorize a sentencing court to require an offender to undergo psychological evaluation or counseling.

Ohio is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t have an actual law outlawing bestiality on the books.

“I think this is something that is sickening and perverse and we don’t want Ohio to be the place you can come and have sex with an animal,” state Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Upper Arlington, said in an earlier interview.

The bill has gained the support of a variety of animal welfare groups, including the Humane Society of the United States.

“This is a form of animal abuse. There are animals that get severely injured in these horrific acts,” said John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy at the Humane Society of the United States.

In urban areas the sexually abused animals are typically dogs, while in more rural locations horses, sheep and donkeys are also abused, Goodwin said.

Places where bestiality is legal in the U.S.:

District of Columbia

Hawaii

Kentucky

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

Ohio

Texas

Vermont

West Virginia

Wyoming

Source: Human Society of the United States

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