Spanish region to vote on bullfighting ban

18th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

Catalonia's parliament will vote Friday on bullfighting ban following the submission of a petition with 180,000 signatures that calls for a change in animal protection law.

Barcelona – Catalonia's parliament is due to vote Friday on a call to ban bullfighting in northeastern Spain in a debate that has drawn emotional arguments from both sides, as well as in France.

The parliament in Barcelona will decide whether to debate a petition with 180,000 signatures that calls for a change in an animal protection law that bans killing or mistreating animals in shows except in the case of bullfights.

It is the first step in a process that could see Catalonia become the first region in Spain, outside of the Canary Islands, to ban the spectacle.

On the eve of the vote, about 300 Catalan personalities against a ban published a manifesto calling for the protection of "cultural heritage".

They said they feared outlawing bullfighting could lead to a ban on the running of the bulls, also popular in parts of the region.

Animal rights campaigners however blast the corrida, or bullfight, as a form of torture.

Friday's vote has stirred debate in France, where bullfighting is also practised.

French matador Sebastien Castella called for "the respect and the freedom of the 'bull fiesta' and the Catalans who enjoy bull shows" on Monday when he received in Madrid a prize for best bullfighter of 2009.

The El Pais newspaper reported Thursday that 133 political figures from southern France had written to the Catalan legislature to demand they reject the call for a debate on the ban.

French screen goddess turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has come out in favour of a ban, last month calling bullfighting "an incredibly sadistic spectacle".

AFP / Expatica

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