A British Columbia man has been ordered to stand trial over allegations he performed sexual acts with his pet dog, a charge that is rarely prosecuted in the courts.
The BC SPCA began investigating Brian Cutteridge two years ago after a veterinarian alerted the animal welfare agency to an infection the man’s dog had. The organization seized three of Cutteridge’s dogs and some home videos.
This week, a judge ruled that there is enough evidence to send the 38-year-old Vancouver man to trial on the rare charge of bestiality, which refers to sexual activity between a person and an animal.
Marcie Moriarty, who leads the BC SPCA’s Cruelty Investigations Department, noted that this is the agency’s first bestiality case.
“Unfortunately, bestiality is more common than we’d like to think but it’s sometimes hard to find evidence and get a conviction,” she said.
The society claims that Cutteridge’s alleged offences date back to 1998. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in jail.
“In this particular case we’re hopeful that we will get a conviction,” said Moriarty. “He could argue it’s his lifestyle choice and his right, but in Canada it is an illegal act.”
The BC SPCA said Cutteridge wrote a paper contesting the prohibition of zoophilia, otherwise known as a sexual relationship between humans and animals.
There is a paper online by a Brian Anthony Cutteridge titled, “For the Love of Dog: On the Legal Prohibition of Zoophilia in Canada and the United States.”
The author of the paper argues that the laws that prohibit zoophilia in both countries are contradictory and unfair.
“Laws which criminalize zoophilia based on societal abhorrence of such acts rather than any real harm caused by such acts are an unjust and constitutional infringement on individual liberty,” claims the author.