STOCKHOLM, Sweden, May 5, 2005 ( – Sweden, known the world over for its avant garde sexual mores has crossed yet another barrier in its moral descent with the news that sexual abuse of animals is on the increase. A government commissioned study has found that more than 200 animals, mostly horses, have been sexually abused in Sweden since the 1970s.

The Swedish Animal Welfare Agency collected its information based on responses received from 1,600 questionnaires sent to veterinarians, animal welfare inspectors and police agencies across the country. In the period 2000 to 2004, 119 cases of bestiality were documented, compared to just three known cases in the 1970s, 17 in the 1980s and 70 in the 1990s.

The author of the report indicated that the numbers may not correctly reflect the real problem. Katarina Andersson, said that the rise in documented cases did not necessarily mean that there was a de facto increase.

“We know that there must be cases that have not been documented,” she said, adding that people have also become more aware of the problem in recent years and are therefore more likely to report suspected cases to the authorities.

Animal welfare agents are not concerned about the morality of the act, or that human beings would actually resort to this kind of behaviour, but rather are concerned that animals are being hurt and are perhaps suffering “psychological harm” in the process. “Even if it is difficult to assess an animal’s degree of psychological suffering, it is likely that it experiences discomfort or is subjected to psychological suffering even in cases where there is no evidence of physical injury,” said the report.

Unlike most countries, bestiality is not illegal in Sweden. The legal prohibitionsÂagainst both bestiality and homosexuality wereÂlifted by the country in 1944.ÂAdvancing secularism has played the major role in the sexual radicalization of Sweden. In an article published last year entitled “The End of Marriage in Scandinavia”, author Stanley Kurtz reported “Sweden is probably the most secular country in the world. Secular social scientists (most of them quite radical) have largely replaced clerics as arbiters of public morality.”

The decline of general sexual morality, evident in Swedish society, seems to be manifesting itself in many disturbing ways, spiraling downward with increasing rapidity. Sweden’s sweeping hate crime law which criminalizes speaking out against homosexuality has been criticized by Pope Benedict. In an interview published last year in the Italian newspaper “La Reppublica” and re-distributed world-wide via the Vatican Information Service, then Cardinal Ratzinger, recalled, “In Sweden, a Protestant pastor who had preached about homosexuality, based on a line from Scriptures, went to jail for one month.”

See related coverage:
Sweden highlights bestiality problemÂÂ
The End of Marriage in Scandinavia