The national police force in Italy has apologised after a training manual listed homosexuality alongside bestiality, incest and necrophilia as a ‘sexual deviance’.

AFP reports that the Carabinieri had published a manual to be used to train and test officers internally.

The 585-page book said in part: “The main sexual deviances are homosexuality, exhibitionism, fetishism, sadism, incest and bestiality.”

The force commander general, Leonardo Gallitelli said it was an “unfortunate mistake” based on an “obsolete formula”.

The passage has been removed.

Paolo Patane of the Italian gay rights group Arcigay said the original passed had been “shameful” and was “pleasantly surprised” by the police’s reaction to complaints over the text.

Although homosexuality has been legal in Italy since the 19th century, there are no legal protections afforded to gay couples.

Discrimination against gay people in employment is illegal under EU law, but Italy has not voluntarily passed any national laws protecting gays.

The regions of Tuscany and Piedmont, however, do afford gay citizens legal protections against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in public services, education and some areas of accommodation.