Bestiality is a term for humans having sex with animals. Other terms for humans having sex with animals include zooerasty or zooerastia. Bestiality is considered a crime in 48 US states and in countries like Canada and Denmark. One of the reasons such acts are generally against the law is that animals cannot give consent.

In some US states it’s a misdemeanor and in others a felony to engage in some or all sexual activity with an animal. Neither New Mexico, West Virginia nor DC have legal restrictions on bestiality.

The sourced articles below provide additional information on the talked about but little understood topic.

  1. Table Of State Animal Sexual Assault Laws

    “This table details state laws prohibiting sexual conduct between humans and animals. Most states (about 48) have some provision that criminalizes engaging in sexual conduct with animals. New Mexico and West Virginia as well as the District of Columbia, do not have laws addressing this conduct. … While almost half of states label the crime a misdemeanor, in some of those states, such as Kansas and Maine, the severity level jumps to a felony if the actor causes or coerces juveniles to engage in the activity or if the person has previous convictions of bestiality. Notably, the legality of bestiality is not controlled from the federal level. The only relevant federal law is the sodomy law under the military code.”

    Rebecca F. Wisch,, 2022

  2. Bestiality

    “The ASPCA is opposed to bestiality, defined as any sexual contact with an animal by a human. The ASPCA believes that any sexual practice or contact between humans and animals for the sexual gratification of any person is animal exploitation, regardless of the human perpetrators’ beliefs or intentions.”

    American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,, accessed 6/19/2022

  3. Current State Of Bestiality Law In The US

    “Now all states except New Mexico and West Virginia have statutes that impose sanctions for sexual acts with animals. Twenty-three states impose a misdemeanor, 25 impose a felony, and many states now have felony enhancements for specific sexual acts, for example, coercing a minor to engage in bestiality or for those with prior convictions.”

    Contributor Brian James Holoyda,, updated 6/16/2022

  4. Zoophilia And Bestiality

    “Individuals may engage in bestiality because they have difficulty forming healthy sexual relationships with humans. Many of those who engage in bestiality lose, or never had, a desire to have sex with humans. Alternatively, the animal may be used like a sex toy because it provides sensations similar to human sexual stimulation. In this instance, the animal is not viewed as a loving partner but as an object that can be used for sexual gratification. … However, zoophiles experience genuine feelings of affection toward animals that are symptomatic of interpersonal sexuality. … Distinct from zoophilia and bestiality is faunoiphilia, a paraphilia which is described as feelings of sexual arousal when viewing animals mating.”

    The Sexperts,, updated 5/24/2022

  5. Beastiality

    “Beastiality – which is actually a mispelling of bestiality – refers to any and all sexual relations between a human and an animal. The term is derived from the term bestial, which refers to that which is beast-like and displays inhuman instincts and desires. … Research by Alfred Kinsey found that 8% of males and 5% of females had had at least one sexual interaction with animals. However, this research was conducted in the 1940s.”

    Reviewed by Kinkly Staff,, 5/7/2022

  6. Zoophilia And Bestiality: Misunderstood And Misrepresented Conditions

    “In 1948, Alfred Kinsey’s research found one in 13 men had a sexual experience with animals. In rural areas, Kinsey’s research showed half of the men with a college education had some kind of sexual contact with an animal. A 1953 Kinsey research study found 4% of women had sexual contact with animals after adolescence. These numbers are likely underreported given Kinsey only collected incidences where people reached orgasm through animal contact.”

    Kimberly Keiser,, 3/28/2022

  7. Bestiality

    “Bestiality is the performance of any sexual act between a human being and an animal. In criminal statutes, bestiality is also committed when a person (1) aids or abets another person’s sexual acts with an animal; (2) permits sexual acts with an animal on any premises that they control; (3) in any way furthers sexual acts with an animal, including observation of such acts; or (4) photographs or films sexual acts with an animal for the purpose of sexual gratification, whether their own or another’s. Some state statutes instead include bestiality under the ambit of a crime against nature or sodomy.”

    Wex Definitions Team,, updated 6/2021

  8. All Sexual Acts With Animals Now Illegal In Canada With New Bestiality Law

    “Forcing an animal into any sexual act is now outlawed in Canada after the Senate finalized a bill Tuesday to close a loophole in the country’s bestiality laws. Prior to the bill’s passing, there was no law against forcing an animal into sexual acts that excluded penetration. … The bill was amended at one point to ensure that those convicted of bestiality will be placed on the Sex Offender Registry.”

    Graeme Wood,, 6/21/2019

  9. Why People Have Sex With Animals

    “A common reaction to all of this is to say that because animals aren’t humans and can’t speak for themselves, they can’t truly offer consent. Therefore, many would say that zoophilia is wrong on these grounds. Others might point out that this raises the question of why we care so much about issues of consent when it comes to having sex with animals, but not when it comes to hunting them, eating them, keeping them as pets, or turning them into fashion accessories.”

    Justin Lehmiller, PhD,, 7/17/2018

  10. Tracking Animal Cruelty: FBI Collecting Data On Crimes Against Animals

    “On January 1, the Bureau’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) began collecting detailed data from participating law enforcement agencies on acts of animal cruelty, including gross neglect, torture, organized abuse, and sexual abuse. … ‘Some studies say that cruelty to animals is a precursor to larger crime,’ said Nelson Ferry, who works in the Bureau’s Criminal Statistics Management Unit, which manages NIBRS. ‘That’s one of the items that we’re looking at.'”

    Federal Bureau Of Investigation,, 2/1/2016