New Mexico is cracking down on sexual abuse of animals with a new bill that will outlaw bestiality.
At present, there is no specific law against such abuse in the USA’s fifth-largest state, home to more than two million people. Senate Bill 21, which aims to end the practice, has gained bipartisan support. Republican senators Mark Moores and Andrea Reeb, as well as Democrats Brenda McKenna and Andrea Romero, are all sponsoring the legal move.
“We want to join the other 48 states and outlaw this crime against animals,” McKenna said in a statement.
The bill, once passed, will make it a fourth-degree felony to commit bestiality or solicit others into doing so. The sale, purchase, or possession of an animal for the purposes of sexual abuse will also be deemed a felony.
As well as a possible prison sentence, anybody found guilty of a bestiality-related crime in New Mexico will be legally prohibited from living or working with animals for up to 15 years.
They could also be required to undergo mental health treatment. And, to pay for any costs associated with the rehabilitation of animals who they have harmed.
Animals prone to sexual abuse
According to New Mexico newspaper the Albuquerque Journal, some animals are more likely to suffer sexual abuse. The most commonly assaulted include cows, deer, dogs, horses, and pigs.
Many animal victims are thought to suffer extreme psychological damage, on top of physical injuries. Some incidents are so extreme that the animals die. However, few charges have been brought against perpetrators. This is due to animal cruelty cases relying on external signs of harm and sexual abuse often centering around internal harm.
When Senate Bill 215 is enacted, criminal investigators will have the power to investigate suspected offenders and prosecute more effectively, where appropriate.
This is pertinent given that state investigators have previously unearthed evidence of “bestiality conferences and meets” happening in New Mexico. The Attorney General’s office confirmed this to be the case.