The Bestiality Proscription: In Search of a Rationale

29 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2012 Last revised: 12 May 2015

Date Written: December 5, 2012


Addressing a taboo rarely discussed in scholarly works, this Article analyzes frequently advanced arguments supporting prohibitions on bestiality. Though on a superficial level the arguments seem appealing, upon closer inspection the standard justifications break down under internal inconsistencies. A differently constructed theory may not only provide a rationalized, consistent basis for regulating bestiality, but also lend greater coherence to laws regulating sexuality in general. Part II of this Article explores arguments related to consent; Part III discusses bestiality impermissibly using animals as a means; Part IV examines public health arguments, largely relating to those diseases that can spread easily from humans to animals and vice versa; Part V explores arguments analogizing zoophilia to either pedophilia or homosexuality; and Part VI offers a new rationale for justifying prohibitions on bestiality.

Keywords: bestiality, zoophilia, animal rights, animal welfare, sexuality, sexual orientation, beastiality

Suggested Citation

Haynes, Antonio Mortez, The Bestiality Proscription: In Search of a Rationale (December 5, 2012). 21 Animal L. Rev. 121 (2014), Available at SSRN: or

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