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Germany moves to ban bestiality

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November 28, 2012 07:12 AM EST | AP

BERLIN — A German lawmaker says Parliament is close to passing a law explicitly banning bestiality after animal rights groups and tabloid newspapers pushed for existing legislation to be clarified.

Max Lehmer, a lawmaker with Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition, said Wednesday after a meeting of Parliament's agriculture committee that the ban would make sex with animals punishable with a fine. A vote is expected in December.

Politicians took up the issue after it became clear a law banning cruelty to animals was not specific enough to prohibit the practice explicitly.

Berlin tabloid BZ started the debate in October, featuring a front-page photo of a man holding his dog with the headline "we call it sodomy, he calls it love."

Top-selling Bild, from the same publisher, then took up the cause.