Spanish region gets petition to ban bullfighting
180,000 people signed a petition demanding that bullfighting be banned throughout the northeastern Spanish region.Madrid – Anti-bullfighting campaigners presented Catalonia's parliament Thursday with a petition signed by 180,000 people demanding that the sport be banned throughout the northeastern Spanish region.
The campaigners, calling themselves "Prou!" or "Enough!" in Catalan, needed to collect just 50,000 signatures of local residents to legally force the regional parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona to vote on their proposal.
Their campaign had the backing of British comedy actor Ricky Gervais and former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson, a longtime champion of animal rights.
It calls for Catalonia's animal protection law, which bans killing or mistreating animals in shows except in the case of bullfights, to be altered.
The proposal has the backing of the Catalan nationalist party the Leftist Republic of Catalonia (ERC) but is opposed by the conservative Popular Party. The remaining parties are divided on the issue.
Catalonia has led opposition to bullfighting, which animal rights campaigners blast as a form of torture, in part due to a desire among some Catalans to strike a separate identity from the rest of Spain.
But supporters of the sport point out that top matadors draw crowds in the region. A capacity crowd of 18,000 people is expected to see Jose Tomas, dubbed the "David Beckham of bullfighting", perform in Barcelona's ring on Sunday.
AFP / Expatica