Monday, November 19, 2007

And I thought we had legal loopholes...

Given that my best friend lives in Norway, I have, over the years, developed something of an affinity for various aspects of life in this bastion of blondness (labor unions that boycott Israel and Jostein Gaarder not withstanding, of course). I am rather fond of Norwegian brown cheese, otherwise known as Gjetost (which I can indeed pronounce, thank you very much), Norwegian salmon makes my mouth water, I enjoy lefse, and would love to try lutefisk, if for no other reason than to be able to tell people that I've eaten fish that's been treated with lye. The Husband and I both have beautiful Norwegian sweaters that keep us toasty warm in winter, and the coffee mug I keep at work has pictures of the Norwegian flag on it.

I've been to visit twice, and can even still remember a few words in Norwegian, which is nothing short of a miracle given that it is one of the more difficult languages that I've come across, sounding at times like a cross between words that almost sound like they're in English, and words that sound like the speaker is making them up. Three of the bloggers on my blogroll are Norwegian (blogging in English, obviously), and I had the pleasure of meeting one of them when he came to Israel during the summer.

And of course, because I am a news junkie, I also keep up with the goings on in Norway by periodically reading the English online version of the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. Though many of the headlines do not catch my fancy (quite a few of the stories seem somewhat mundane and – for me at least – irrelevant when compared to current events in Israel), I occasionally come across stories that scream for attention, stories that make one realize what passes for headline news in "normal" countries. Like the story I came across today, for example. While skimming the headlines, I was immediately drawn to one in particular...

"Bestiality ban proposed

Minister of Agriculture and Food Terje Riis-Johansen wants Norway's Animal Protection Act updated to expressly forbid sex with animals.

The existing act only specifies the kicking and beating of animals as abuse, and the agriculture minister now wants to close loopholes.

"This is a punishable offense that shall not occur," Riis-Johansen told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting).

The ban will come into effect with the new Animal Protection Act, which will also prevent violence against animals and the use of live animals as feed or bait.

"It will still be legal to use a riding crop on a horse that must be trained. But beating a dog will be illegal," the minister said.

According to a 2006 survey of 650 veterinarians last year, bestiality - sex with animals - occurs far more often than people think.

"Every fifth veterinarian has either established or strongly suspected the sexual abuse of one of its animal patients. The extent of sexual abuse of animals is far greater than we had reason to believe at the beginning," said Live Kleveland of the Norwegian Animal Welfare Alliance.

She said that bestiality was first and foremost a problem with farming animals like cows, pigs, and sheep but also extended to domestic pets like cats and dogs, as well as sporting animals like horses."

Kind of makes you think, doesn't it? And I thought we had legal loopholes...


montchan (MJ Bliss) said...

Well, if the Normen do it, then Sweden will be the last bastion of legal animal love. I can just imagine the invaders from the west coming over to shag our sheep, goats and reindeer.
Yes, bestiality is legal in Sweden, and the gov'ment has no plans to change it.

the dame said...

Bizarre. It seems obvious... but I think a lot of shocking loopholes DO seem obvious once the problem has been remedied.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I think the government is going too far with that. On the positive side, we'll see the shelters for abused sheep and pigs yet...

Notice my straight face.