A law to ban bestiality has been opposed by US farmers on the grounds they could be unfairly arrested.
Farmers in New Hampshire have said a proposed law to ban the sexual abuse of animals in the state could see them unprotected should they need to touch or intervene with an animal for medical reasons.
Robert Johnson, a lobbyist for the New Hampshire Farm Bureau, said the new bill was not necessary.
"Just because the word 'bestiality' is not used in our statutes does not mean it's not covered," he said, according to the Concord Monitor.
Bestiality is still legal in Texas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Virginia, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, Montana, Wyoming and the District of Columbia - as well as New Hampshire - according to the Alabama Watchdog.
The law is being put forward by Katherine Rogers, a Democrat representative in Concord, who is looking to ban the sexual abuse of animals. Perpetrators could also be registered.
She said prosecutors needed the law as a "tool" to ensure the practice went punished.
"It's unfortunately something that's needed, and New Hampshire shouldn't be one of the few states that doesn't have it," said Ms Rogers.
The most controversial animal killings
The most controversial animal killings
1/6 Cincinnati Zoo worker shots and kills Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla
Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla was shot and killed by a Cincinnati Zoo worker after a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
2/6 Walt Palmer (left), from Minnesota, who killed Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion (pictured here with another lion shot in Africa)
Walter James Palmer has been named by Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force as the shooter of Cecil, a 13-year-old prized lion. He is now wanted by Zimbabwe officials on poaching charges. The lion was protected and the subject of a decade long study by the Wildlife Unit of Oxford University in the UK. He was outfitted with a GPS collar and was killed in Hwange National Park. The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association said that two men were charged with poaching in connection to Mr Palmer
3/6 Kendall Jones hunting images
Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech university student, has provoked worldwide fury after posting pictures of herself smiling next to animals she hunted, including a lion, rhinoceros, antelope, leopard, elephant, zebra and hippopotamus
4/6 Rebecca Francis hunting images
Rebecca Francis, a huntress who has killed dozens of wild animals has been sent death wishes by furious social media users after a picture showing her lying down next to a dead giraffe was circulated. Rebecca Francis has a website and Facebook page dedicated to the animals she has killed in hunts across Africa and America. Francis, a prolific hunter who has also co-hosted the television show Eye of the Hunter, regularly posts pictures of herself posing next to dead bears, giraffes, buffaloes and zebras, among other animals. She uses a bow and arrow to kill her prey
5/6 The slaughter of Marius, an 18-month-old healthy giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo
Copenhagen Zoo made the controversial decision to euthanise a healthy giraffe named Marius, which was later dissected and fed to lions as visitors watched. The slaughter sparked a furious backlash from social media users and zoo staff have received death threats by phone and email. Soon after the incident, Copenhagen Zoo faced an international outcry once again after four healthy lions were put down
6/6 Swiss Dählhölzli zoo kills healthy brown bear cub
A Switzerland zoo faced heavy criticism from animal rights groups, after keepers put down a healthy brown bear cub to spare it from being bullied by its dominant male father. The 360 kg male bear Misha had already killed one of his 11-week old cubs in public and was bullying the second, staff at the zoo said, because he was jealous of the attention the cubs were receiving from their mother, Masha. Both adult brown bears had been donated to Bern’s Dählhölzli zoo in 2009. Campaigners condemned staff there for not separating the cubs, who are being referred to as Baby Bear Two and Baby Bear Three, and their mother from Misha after their birth in January
Her words were echoed by Jeremy Hoffman, a Virginia police detective, who said farmers are not likely to be affected by the law.
"I don't believe that's in the spirit of the intent of the bill, and I can't foresee any reasonable prosecutor attempting to use this bill in that fashion," he told the Concord Monitor.
Yet the farming community at large in the east coast state mostly joined the commissioner of agriculture, Lorraine Merrill, in criticising the bipartisan bill.
Bestiality was first brought to the attention of the New Hampshire public when video clips were found of a man having sex with dogs in 2014.
He said he had been engaged in bestiality since the age of 13, was convicted of two felony counts of animal cruelty and sentenced to one year in jail, according to Sentinel Source.
Bestiality, defined as performing sex acts on an animal, is illegal in Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in Europe. In the UK, penetration between an animal and a human is prohibited under the 2003 Sexual Offences Act.Reuse content