Bardot joins bullfighting debate in Spain
French screen goddess Brigitte Bardot appeals to the Catalan government to back a campaign to ban bullfighting in the northeastern Spanish region.Barcelona -- French screen goddess turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot has appealed to the government of Catalonia to back a campaign to ban bullfighting in the northeastern Spanish region.
The Popular Legislative Initiative, which has gathered 180,000 signatures, calls for a change in Catalonia's animal protection law, which bans killing or mistreating animals in shows except in the case of bullfights.
It is to be examined by the regional parliament in Barcelona in mid-December and, if it passes, Catalonia would become the first region of Spain to outlaw bullfighting.
In a letter to the Catalan government, Bardot described as "strange and paradoxical that the (Catalonian) Socialist Party (PSC) opposes direct democracy."
Bullfighting is "an incredibly sadistic spectacle" and the PSC's position is "an insult to the formidable popular campaign which has been observed in Catalonia," she said in the letter, a copy of which was seen by AFP Wednesday.
A PSC spokesman said that the party does not oppose the initiative, but is allowing its legislators a free vote on the issue.
The proposal has the backing of the PSC's ally in the ruling coalition, the nationalist ERC party, 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.
AFP / Expatica