THE German government is about to reintroduce a ban on bestiality, after pressure from animal welfare groups.
Newspaper die Tageszeitung reports that the governing coalition are soon to amend the country's Animal Welfare Act to make sex with animals punishable with a fine of up to 25,000 euros ($31,000).
Bestiality was legalised in Germany in 1969, the same year that gay sex was also removed from the criminal code. After that, sex with animals was only punishable if the animal was severely injured.
However animal welfare groups have pushed for the ban to be reinstated, in an advertising campaign that used dramatic examples of "animal rape".
Agriculture minister Ilse Aigner has agreed to change the law to make it illegal for people to "use (animals) for their own sexual activities or sexual acts of third parties" - which also bans the 'pimping' of animals to others.
However the move has aroused the ire of zoophile group ZETA.
Lobbyist Michael Kiok, who lives with his dog Cassie, told the newspaper there were more than 100,000 zoophiles in Germany.
"Mere morals have no place in law," he said.
Mr Kiok said he was worried that if the law took effect the authorities would try to take away his dog.
The amendment to the law will be debated in the German parliament in mid-December.
Thanks, Dave. I learned a new word today - zoophile. I don't believe I'll ever use it but......