In N.H., Bestiality Isn't Illegal, But It Soon Could Be

Feb 29, 2016

Credit NHPR Staff

New Hampshire might its run as one of the few states without an explicit prohibition on sex with animals. Backers of House Bill 1547-FN say it’s unfortunate, but it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

Sexual conduct with animals has been banned in many states since the Colonial Era. But New Hampshire is one of 10 states where it’s never been specifically outlawed.

Backers of a bill designed to ban it told the House Judiciary Committee on Monday that bestiality is not widespread in New Hampshire but that it does happen.

David Rotman, an Assistant Merrimack County Attorney, told lawmakers current laws protecting against animal cruelty don’t go far enough.

“I think that a statue that specifically addresses these actions will more effectively put the public on notice on what is prohibited and ensure more effective prosecution,” Rotman testified.

Supporters of the bill also argued studies show people who commit sexual acts with animals are more likely to sexually abuse children.

The only criticism of the bill came from the agricultural community. A lobbyist for the New Hampshire Farm Bureau testified that this law might burden farmers who breed livestock.

If the bill becomes law, sexual conduct with an animal would be a felony.