The European Union does not have the power to implement laws punishing someone for raping an animal, the Commission has said.
A member of the European Commission has said that the EU has no powers to punish people for raping animals, saying that the controls for such legislation lie solely in the hands of member states.
The statement was made in response to a question from one member of the European Parliament, who criticised recent laws passed by the Spanish government which they said made it “ambiguous” whether beastiality was fully illegal in the country, before asking the commission whether the EU had a view and if they could step in.
In an answer published on Friday, Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides responded that, while the EU does not approve of sexually abusing animals, the body largely had no control over the issue, with the ability to legislate on the matter of raping animals being left in the hands of individual EU nation-states.
“Deeply regrettable as they are, such [sex] acts as described remain solely under the competence of the Member States, as they cannot be said to affect the functioning of the internal market and therefore interfere with EU competences,” she said.
The commissioner went on to claim that, while the bloc’s Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union did touch on the rights of animals, it nevertheless “does not provide a legal basis permitting [the EU] to address all animal welfare issues”.
“[T]he Commission can only act within the limits of the competences (sic) conferred to it by the Treaties and therefore is not empowered to propose rules addressing sexual abuses against animals such as those covered by the Spanish law at issue,” Kyriakides went on to say.
Such a statement on behalf of the commission is notable for it being a straight admission of a lack of EU control in a particular area, with top Eurocrats largely fighting for more control to be handed to Brussels by national governments.