Catalan Parliament votes to ban bullfighting
Unlike the man from Delmonte, the Catalan parliament has said no – and voted to ban bullfighting. In an emotional session - sixty-eight deputies voted in favour of the ban - 55 were opposed. Activists had collected 180,000 signatures in order to get this initiative off the ground and into parliament. The pro camp argued against a formal ban, saying, “Nobody is obliged to go to the bullfights.”
But activists parodied the Spanish cartoonist EI Roto when he retorted, “Except the bulls and the toreador’s horse!” There are concerns about the economic impact of stopping the fights, both in lost ticket sales and compensation for those who depend on bullfighting for their livelihood. But a mixture of animal rights activism, a ban on child attendance and politics has left ring owners struggling to fill seats and now there is only one bullfighting ring remaining in Barcelona, which struggles to average 15 fights a year, and that will close when the ban comes into effect in January 2012. In contrast centralist Madrid stages 125 a year and many of the spectators are tourists.
Buoyed by their victory, activists have vowed to help extend the ban across the country. But they know they will face far stiffer opposition in the bullfighting heartlands of southern Spain and Madrid. In the capital, a petition calling for a vote on banning bullfights there has collected more than 50,000 signatures of support. In response, the regional government has declared the corrida protected, part of Madrid’s cultural heritage.
(Courtesy of www.ontheroad.co.uk)