Conference Committee Drops Provision Legalizing Bestiality in Military

Update December 15, 2011: A conference committee made up of members of the House of Representatives and Senate has released a report that leaves intact Art. 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, meaning bestiality will remain illegal in the military. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have approved the report, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.

Original report: The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012 is raising more than eyebrows for a number of controversial provisions, but to those who care about the welfare of animals, none is more disturbing than the Senate provision that would legalize bestiality in the military. The Senate version of H.R. 1540 (also S.B. 1867) would repeal Art. 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which¬† prohibits, in part, bestiality or sex with animals. Art. 125 provides: "(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with … an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense. (b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."

The Senate version which passed by unanimous consent on December 1, 2011, must now be reconciled with the House version which passed on May 26, 2011 but without the offending provision. A conference committee made up of House and Senate members will resolve the differences in the two versions.