Target: Governor Margaret Hassan
Goal: Ban sexual assault against animals in New Hampshire.
A bill in New Hampshire set to explicitly ban bestiality has been met with vocal resistance from farming representatives. While New Hampshire does have animal cruelty laws, it is one of just 10 other states that does not have legislation specifically outlawing sexual assault on animals.
However, Commissioner of Agriculture Lorraine Merrill urged committee members to consider the consequences such legislation could have on normal animal husbandry practices. The bill would currently exempt just medical procedures and commercial farming, which omits people like subsistence farmers and those who might own a dairy cow or two, they argue. This statement is somewhat convoluted, as exempting medical procedures and commercial farming would mean they aren’t included in the bill. However, Ms. Merrill is stating this as though a bill targeted toward human sexual assault on animals should also cover animal breeding practices. In essence, these diversionary tactics are a way to confuse the audience and build support by making farmers feel targeted. As in the case with many other animal welfare resistances, this seems to be led primarily by New Hampshire’s Farm Bureau.
This bill is intended to allow officials to charge people who engage in sexual intercourse with animals with a B Felony and up to seven years in prison. As no legislation in New Hampshire currently addresses bestiality, people who commit it can only be sentenced to up to a year in prison. There is also the problem of doing irrevocable harm to the animal, which in many cases can be difficult to prove, but sexual assault can more easily be addressed when leveling charges.
Do not allow people to be confused and resistance to be incited by people seeking to confuse farmers and further their own ends. Currently, New Hampshire is a go-to point for people partaking of bestiality. Jeremy Hoffman, a Virginia detective who specializes in cases of bestiality has said, “one internet forum had 194 separate advertisements as of last week, with more than 650 responses. Two threads specifically dealt with the need to kill Rogers’s legislation.” He has also claimed that farmers should not be affected by legislation targeting bestiality, as bestiality has nothing to do with animal husbandry and commercial farming.
Sign to urge Governor Hassan to pass this bill and offer more protection to animals. Do not allow this bill to be killed because of misinformation.
Dear Governor Hassan,
Recently a bipartisan bill to explicitly outlaw bestiality in New Hampshire and make it a B Felony has hit a roadblock of opposition. This seems to primarily be coming from farmer representatives and the New Hampshire Farm Bureau. According to them, the fact that this bill does not cover husbandry and animal veterinary care in regards to breeding assistance makes this an attack on farmers. According to misleading statements made, the language of the bill poses a threat to New Hampshire farmers, rather than keeping animals safe. It should be noted their statements seem to completely disregard the other 40 or more states who have bestiality laws and no problems with vets or farmers breeding livestock being charged for assisting births and breeding.
Forums on the internet have shown New Hampshire to be a go-to state for people partaking in bestiality, with as many as 194 separate advertisements on one or two forums as of the end of February 2016 and over 650 responses. This is evidence of a severe problem in New Hampshire regarding animal welfare. While perhaps statements exempting legitimate breeding practices would help ease worries, the bill should not be killed entirely.
Please, don’t allow Farm Bureau and misinformation to shut down a bill that New Hampshire animals desperately need.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kabsik Park