Canada’s Apex court stated on Thursday that animal-human sex is legal in the country, as long as, no penetration involved. It is a blow to advocacy groups who were arguing that animals should get protection from exploitation like humans.

The Canadian Supreme court decided on the matter following a case in British Columbia where a man sexually assaulted his step daughters by involving the family dog in the act. The man, who is referred to as DLW to protect his step daughters’ identity, is successful in appealing his conviction in a provincial court. DLW’s attorney argued that the offense of animal-human sex needs penetration, and his act did not involve that.

DLW, allegedly, abused his teenage stepdaughters by forcing them to put peanut butter on their genitals so that the family dog would lick it off. The court documents also revealed that DLW attempted the dog to have intercourse with his stepdaughter but the attempt failed.

DLW’s attorneys also argued that the bestiality is linked to “buggery” or sodomy according to a 1892 criminal code. However it does not encompass every sex act with animals, Independent reported.

Initially, the man is convicted of 14 charges which included 2 counts of animal-human sex or bestiality and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. But now the two bestiality charges are overturned, reported Buzzfeed.

Justice Thomas Cromwell, on behalf of all concurring judges, said that penetration is essential to secure a conviction in bestiality. He added that the courts do not have the power to rule otherwise, according to Reuters.

He said, “Any expansion of criminal liability for this offense is within parliament’s exclusive domain.”

Camille Labchuk of the group Animal Justice said that government should take immediate action to rectify this “dangerous and disturbing loophole.”

She further stated, “I think the Supreme Court decision is a wake-up call that the criminal laws protecting animals in this country are severely out of date,”

She also said, “People who sexually abuse animals are sometimes linked to sexually abusing children as well, as the accused did in this case. That’s a really good reason parliament needs to act.”

Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, on the other hand, said that Animal-human sex is ambiguous under this law, which according to her intends for all animal sex act to be illegal. Reportedly, a bill which states all inter-species sexual activity as bestiality is before lawmakers, but it is still in its early stage.