In NSW, it is an offence to commit an act of bestiality and to attempt to commit an act of bestiality.
The offence of committing an act of bestiality carries a maximum penalty of fourteen years imprisonment. The offence of attempting to commit an act of bestiality carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
The offence of bestiality is set out in section 79 of the Crimes Act 1900, which states: “any person who commits an act of bestiality with any animal shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”
The offence of attempting to commit bestiality is set out in section 80 of the same Act, which states: “any person who attempts to commit an act of bestiality with any animal shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.”
What Actions Might Constitute Beastiality?
There is no definition of bestiality in the Crimes Act, however, there is case law that states that the definition would include any form of sexual intercourse with an animal: R v Brown (1889) 24 QBD 357.
Penetration is not required for an offence under this section to arise, as long as there is behaviour that can be defined as some form of sexual intercourse: R v Bourne (1952) 36 Cr App R 125.
Both men and women can commit an offence under this section: R v Packer  VLR 225.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict you of a charge of bestiality, the Police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused had carnal knowledge of an animal.
To convict a person of a charge of attempt to commit bestiality, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that they attempted to commit an act of bestiality.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
This offence is a strictly indictable offence, meaning that it will be finalised in the District or Supreme Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.