Bullfighting took a historical hit on Wednesday when Spanish lawmakers voted 68 to 55, with nine abstaining, to ban the “sport” from the region of Catalonia, making it the first ban in mainland Spain.
Bullfighting has been hailed as part of Spain’s cultural heritage. However, the industry has been dying on its own as a result of the economic downturn, along with added help from international pressure from animal rights activists.
The WSPA joined forced with a local Catalan group PROU, which presented over 180,000 signatures triggering Catalonia’s Parliament to vote on the matter last year. This year they brought a letter with 165,000 signatures from 120 countries in support of the ban to Ernest Benach, President of the Catalonian Parliament before the vote. A Care2 petition in support of the ban gathered 35,660 signatures.
Some see the ban as a political move and a way for Catalonia to stand apart from the rest of the country, while others say it’s a matter of ethics and animal cruelty.
“This is not an attack against Spain but evidence that we, Catalans, support and share more advanced values with the rest of Europe,” said Josep Rull, a lawmaker from Convergence and Union, a Catalan party. “We can be proud to have demonstrated today that Catalonia has a more dignified and respectful society that believes in eliminating the torture and suffering of animals.”
The ban includes all forms of bullfighting and will take effect the first day of 2012 and will hopefully set a precedent for other areas to follow.
It’s time for this barbaric blood sport to go. Sign Care2’s petition urging Spain to support a ban on bullfighting.