Council bans bullfighting, “Northern bullrings have had their day” says Mayor
Póvoa de Varzim Council has declared the municipal area a no-go zone for bullfighting and has banned the practice as from January 1st next year.
The Council has included any other the county spectacle that involves violence to animals and councillors approved the measure unanimously.
Last week, Mayor Pereira announced that the city’s bullring will be turned into a multipurpose events site after the final two bullfights scheduled for this summer and that bullfighting, “has no raison d’être these days.”
Pereira said that Póvoa de Varzim, a town just the north of Porto, already had banned the use of wild animals in circus shows, even before this was prohibited by law.
The Council seems to love all anmals and is taking care of its homeless dog population at its Official Collection Center for Companion Animals, where the critters are not put down. It also helps finance “A Cerca,” an association of doggy volunteers. There’s even an Animal Ambulance, to rescue of animals that have been injured on the municipality’s roads.
As for bullfighting, Mayor Aires Pereira explained that “with the progressive loss of audiences at bullfighting shows, more so in the north than the south, there has been a 50% fall in the last seven years. Northern bullrings have had their day.”
Pereira said also that in recent years there have been only two bullfights a year in the square of Póvoa de Varzim and that the society “has been positioning itself differently” in relation to these events, especially younger generations that generally are adverse.
This Council ban has been contested by the Movement in Favour of the Festival of Bulls in Póvoa de Varzim, whose petition already has collected over 1,600 signatures.
“We do not want to fight with anybody, we just want to prove that there are many people who like bullfights and that these people also deserve to be respected,” said Rui Porto, from the movement.
The Portuguese Federation of Bullfighting already has expressed its opposition to the Póvoa de Varzim ban, saying that “it would be a huge contradiction” for the bullring to have a change of use and so become unavailable “for its main function.”
See also, ‘Spain, France and Portugal join forces to promote bullfighting‘