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Bestiality is illegal in many European countries, with the exception of Denmark, Finland, Hungary and RomaniaEd Yourdon/Creative Commons

Denmark has decided to ban sex with animals following public pressure from both inside and outside the country.

The food and agriculture minister, Dan Jørgensen, announced the government's decision to a local newspaper.

"I have decided that we should ban sex with animals, " he told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

"That is happening for numerous reasons. The most important is that in the vast majority of cases it is an attack against the animals. And under all circumstances, any doubts about it should go to the animals' benefit. They naturally cannot say no to going along with it. Therefore, it should be banned."

He added that the damage done to Denmark's reputation by allowing animal sex influenced his decision.

The move comes after a Vice documentary on zoophiles, people who have sex with animals, revealed that many people from countries such as Germany and Sweden - where bestiality is banned - travel to Denmark, where the practice is still legal.

A recent opinion poll by Gallup revealed that 76% of Danes support a ban on animal sex.

However, Jørgensen's decision has been labelled unnecessary by animal ethics committee president Bengt Holst, who argued that existing laws already protect animals and prohibits animal suffering, pain, distress, or lasting harm.

Bestiality is banned in many European countries, with the exception of Finland, Hungary and Romania.