Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Bestiality
|s. 160 of the Crim. Code|
|Election / Plea|
|Jurisdiction||Prov. Court |
SC Judge + PI (I)
SC Jury + PI (I) (536(2))
|Avail. Disp.||Discharge (730)|
Conditional Sentence (742.1)
|Maximum||6 months jail or $5,000 fine|
|Maximum||10 years jail|
|Offence Elements |
|DNA Primary designated offence|
SOIRA designated offence
160. (1) Every person who commits bestiality is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Compelling the commission of bestiality
(2) Every person who compels another to commit bestiality is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Bestiality in presence of or by child
(3) Despite subsection (1), every person who commits bestiality in the presence of a person under the age of 16 years, or who incites a person under the age of 16 years to commit bestiality,
- (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or
- (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 160; R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 3; 2008, c. 6, s. 54; 2012, c. 1, s. 15.
Proof of the Offence
In addition to the essential elements of time, location, and identity, the prosecution should prove the following:
- the accused performs vaginal or anal intercourse with an animal
“Bestiality” has generally required that there be penetrative sex, either vaginal or anal with an animal. It does not include sexual acts involving genital touching or oral sex.
- R. v. Ruvinsky  O.J. No. 3621 ("[i]n my respectful opinion, "bestiality" is anal or vaginal intercourse with an animal, by a man or a woman. ... I do not believe that it is my role to expand the definition of this offence to include genital touching or licking. That responsibility lies with Parliament, who in their wisdom, have to date not defined the offence.")
See also R v M.C.  JQ No 8055, 2002 CanLII 45200
On August 9, 2012, section 160(3) was amended to increase the penalties from a hybrid offence with no minimums to a hybrid offence with minimums of 6 months on summary conviction and 1 year on indictable election. The maximum on the summary election was increased to 2 years less a day.