VANCOUVER — A B.C. man accused of having sexual relations with one of his dogs has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of bestiality.
The order was made in B.C. Provincial Court in Vancouver last week following a preliminary inquiry for 47-year-old Brian Anthony Cutteridge. A second charge of bestiality, along with charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and causing damage or injury to an animal, were stayed.
The maximum sentence for someone convicted of bestiality is 10 years in prison.
“It’s a pretty serious charge, so we are pleased so see that go forward,” said Lorie Chortyk, spokeswoman for the B.C. SPCA.
The society was tipped off to Cutteridge’s alleged activities in 2010 by a veterinarian concerned about an animal’s condition. Cutteridge was arrested in July 2010 after a search of his father’s home in Forest Grove, B.C., about 100 kilometres northwest of Kamloops.
His three dogs, Tia, Hope and Lady, were seized.
Cutteridge filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court against the B.C. SPCA on Nov. 26, 2010, the same day charges were sworn against him, to have the dogs returned to his care but he was not successful. The dogs have since been adopted, Chortyk said.
“The dogs are safe and they are in good homes,” she said.
On his Facebook page, Cutteridge identifies himself as a Christian and a “left-wing libertarian.”
He describes his political views this way: “I strongly believe that the harm principle expounded by J.S. Mill is the only valid basis for legal prohibition, which is best summed up by the popular catchphrase, ‘No harm, no foul.’
“The only activities that can justifiably be restricted or prohibited by law are those that violate the natural or constitutional rights of others. There is NO natural or constitutional right not to be offended, nor is there any justification for interfering in the private activities of consenting adults.”
He has written a paper available online called “For the Love of Dog: On the Legal Prohibition of Zoophilia in Canada and the United States,” in which he argues that laws that condemn zoophilia, or sexual activity between humans and animals, while permitting other practices “are logically incoherent and are therefore inherently unjust.”
Chortyk said bestiality is a crime that is not often prosecuted in B.C.
“Unfortunately bestiality does occur. It’s not uncommon for it to happen. What is rare is for us to have the evidence for the Crown to accept the charge.”