Bullfighting: the beginning of the end?

After receiving a petition signed by 180,000 people protesting against the barbaric and outdated practice of bullfighting, the parliament of Catalonia voted to ban the ‘corrida’ in July of this year. The ban takes effect as of January 2012. It was the first region of mainland Spain to do so, although the Canary Islands banned bullfighting in 1991.

Pro-bullfighting groups fear that a ban could spark a wave of similar campaigns across the country, reports the BBC, although many wonder if this is really an animal rights issue or just another attempt by the nationalist-minded Catalans to re-enforce their difference from the rest of Spain by rejecting one of its best known traditions.

Interestingly, the same parliament recently voted to preserve the 'correbous', a traditional September ‘fiesta’ in the Tarragona area where the horns of the bull are set alight, causing the crazed bull to run wild. Their case was based on the fact that in this case, the bull does not die.

In the rest of Spain the debate between the die-hards, who argue the need to preserve long-standing tradition, see the ‘corrida’ as an art form and insist a ban would threaten the livelihood of thousands, and the animal rights activists, who insist that animal suffering can no longer be considered a sport, continues. It remains to be seen whether or not the rest of Spain will follow the Catalans’ example.

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