A bill proceeding in the Texas House would officially make bestiality — or sexual acts with animals — illegal. If found participating in, promoting or witnessing sexual contact with an animal, the subject could be sentenced for up to two years in state prison. If the animal were to suffer major bodily harm or die from sexual contact by a human, the offender could be prosecuted with a second-degree felony charge under the new proposal.

Forty-two states made bestiality a crime, while Hawaii, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and Texas were the only states that had no direct ban for sexual contact with an animal. 

Read: German Bestiality Law: Challenge To Ban On Sex With Animals Thrown Out Of Court

State Rep. Carol Alvarado, the author of Texas House Bill 1087, told the Texas Tribune Friday that in the state's current laws,  "There's nothing in the law that protects animals from sexual abuse."

Alvarado said the law would protect children from pedophiles and sexual violence due to the results of a sexual offense study in 2008, which found that child sex abuse was higher if the perpetrator had previous relations with an animal. 

"I don't know how somebody can turn a blind eye to that, defend that or ignore that," Alvarado said.

Officials in Amarillo county proposed the idea of the bill in March, which would fine the offender $200, on top of animal care coverage. Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare Director Richard Havens told KVII-TV that officials have seen eight to 12 cases of bestiality in the state over the last two years. He added dogs are the most victimized animal in these cases.

"We need to come together and redefine what it is to be an animal owner and what acts are allowed to do to our animals," Havens said in March. 

In February, another case circulated when a former Harris County sheriff was imprisoned after a video of him having sex with a dog surfaced online. Police did a forensic sweep on the ex sheriff's computer and found over 200 images of child pornography and bestiality. 

If Alvarado's current bill passes to the House floor, she told the Texas Tribune there would be amendments in the bill's wording that would protect veterinary practitioners from being prosecuted. The bill stated it was "a defense to prosecution under this section that the conduct engaged in by the actor is a generally accepted and otherwise lawful animal husbandry or veterinary practice." Alvarado told the Texas Tribune Friday legislatures would have to rewrite the section of the bill to provide clarity in veterinary practices.