OSLO, Norway - An updated Norwegian law protecting animals from physical abuse includes a ban on sex with animals.
Terje Riis-Johansen, minister of agriculture and food, said that the Animal Protection Act would make bestiality a punishable offense, Aftenposten reported.
Live Kleveland of the Animal Welfare Alliance said a survey of veterinarians found that 20 percent of them have strongly suspected sexual abuse of animals on at least one occasion. She said the practice, once known mainly on farms, has spread to pets.
"The extent of sexual abuse of animals is far greater than we had reason to believe at the beginning," Kleveland said.
Riis-Johansen said that the new law will continue to allow appropriate physical force for animal training.
"It will still be legal to use a riding crop on a horse that must be trained, but beating a dog will be illegal," the minister said.
The updated law will also ban the use of live animals for feed or bait.
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