A proposal making human sex with animals a crime again in Iowa won approval in a House Committee yesterday. Bestiality was once a crime in Iowa, but in the 1970s, lawmakers decided it was a “victimless” offense and removed any penalties for it. A case in Waterloo this past October revived the issue. A 46-year-old man was arrested for having sex with a sheep, but he could only be charged with trespassing and animal abuse. Legislators were reluctant to address the issue, but Representative Chuck Larson of Cedar Rapids says new data shows there are more cases of bestiality in Iowa than anyone had believed. For example, lawmakers were told “zoo clubs” – also known as “animal orgies” are springing up around the state. Representative George Eichhorn of Stratford says the proposal is a serious attempt to address the issue. Eichhorn says children are of concern, and a provision in the bill allows to DHS authority to investigate if bestiality occurs in the presence of a child. Representative Don Shoultz of Waterloo admits there’s been a lot of “snickering” in Waterloo about last October’s incident. Shoultz supports the proposal to make bestiality a crime mainly for health reasons.
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