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Sexual relations between a human being and an animal.

At Common Law, bestiality was considered a crime against nature and was punishable by death.

Today, it is prohibited by statutes in most states as a form of Sodomy. The penalty for committing the offense is a fine, imprisonment, or both.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. copulation by a human with an animal, which is a crime in all states as a "crime against nature." (See: crime against nature)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


the offence of having sex with an animal.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Will the next thing be that we legislate for some sort of bestiality? "If my neighbour is homosexual, I will treat him with the same day-today respect as I will treat the neighbour on the other side."
Do you know that bestiality, the relationship between man and beast is prohibited in every state?
Forty-two states made bestiality a crime, while Hawaii, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and Texas were the only states that had no direct ban for sexual contact with an animal. 
Chapman was charged with a second-degree burglary felony as well as bestiality, a misdemeanor over the Feb.
She was charged with three counts of bestiality. In addition, she was also charged with possession of a dangerous drug, trafficking, three counts of supplying and two counts of possession of an item used in the commission of a crime.
Denmark is finally going to work on enacting a law that will ban bestiality or sex with animals in the country.
Ofcom received 37 complaints with the majority criticising Loos's antics as "akin to bestiality".
As public outcry against a decision by Copenhagen's Zoo to slaughter a baby Giraffe called Marius grows, outraged observers in social media have claimed that such an activity is linked to the fact that bigger profanities such as bestiality or 'zoophilia' is permitted in Denmark.
The watchdog received dozens of complaints from shocked viewers, claiming it promoted bestiality by encouraging people to have sex with horses.
Among the charges filed against him are sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, committing an act of indecency towards a person under 16 years of age in circumstances of aggravation, inciting an act of indecency and bestiality.
Officers also told the court in Kassel of more than a dozen CD roms taken from Meiwes' home depicting "every perversion imaginable" including sado-masochism, torture, and bestiality.
A man who was sentenced to 10 years for bestiality came face to face in a Kenyan courtroom with the female goat he had sex with.