(This story contains descriptions of sexual acts that some readers may find disturbing.)
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's bestiality law only bans sexual acts that involve penetration, the country's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, a blow to advocacy groups who argued animals should be afforded the same protection from exploitation that humans are given.
Supreme Court judges ruled in favour of a man from British Columbia in western Canada convicted for sexual assault and bestiality after he involved the family dog in the abuse of his stepdaughters.
The man, known only by the initials "D.L.W." to protect his stepdaughters' identity, then successfully appealed his bestiality conviction in a provincial court, arguing that according to the law, the offence of bestiality requires penetration, which his actions did not involve.
The crown had argued the definition of bestiality included all sex acts.
D.L.W. was originally convicted of 13 offences involving his stepdaughters, including one charge of bestiality, and is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence.
(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Alan Crosby)