B.C. man charged with bestiality could face jail time
Published Sunday, February 26, 2012 8:03AM PST
A Vancouver man could face up to ten years in jail if convicted, following allegations he performed sexual acts with his dog.
The BC SPCA launched an investigation into 38-year-old Brian Cutteridge after a veterinarian alerted the society about an infection the man's dog had. The SPCA then seized three of Cutteridge's dogs as well as home videos.
This week, a Vancouver judge found there is enough evidence to send Cutteridge to trial on a charge of bestiality.
Marcie Moriarty, the head of the BC SPCA's Cruelty Investigations Department, says although this is the first bestiality case for her organization, the crime is not uncommon.
"Unfortunately, bestiality is more common than we'd like to think, but it's sometimes harder to find evidence and get a conviction," Moriarty said.
The BC SPCA says Cutteridge wrote a paper arguing the prohibition of zoophilia – or sex between humans and animals – is unconstitutional.
CTV News found a posting 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 writes, "Laws which criminalize zoophilia based on societal abhorrence of such acts rather than any real harm caused by such acts are an unjust and unconstitutional infringement on individual liberty."
Moriarty maintains that sex between people and animals is abuse under the criminal code.
"He can argue it's his lifestyle choice and his right, but in Canada it is an illegal act. It actually does have implications to the animal," she said.
"You can have detached retinas in the dogs, there can be an increase in urinary tract infections, and in the case of this particular act, it definitely causes distress to the animal."
CTV News was unable to reach Brian Cutteridge, who is scheduled to appear before a judge next month to set a trial date.
The allegations have not been proven in court and Cutteridge is presumed innocent.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington