Thursday, July 29, 2010

Newsy: Catalonia Bans Bullfighting

The Canary Islands did the same a few years ago,  and now Catalonia has banned bullfighting after lawmakers ruled the sport was too barbaric.
Bullfighting is banned in Catalonia after lawmakers there sided with activists who say the sport is too barbaric. But bullfighting enthusiasts smell dirty politics, and say they’ll fight to win back what they say is an integral part of Spanish culture. 
The debate was a heated one in Catalonia, with tensions running high on both sides. KOAT features both an opponent and supporter of the ban: “Enrique Guillén sees the essence of Spain in what he calls the noble art of bullfighting. 'My father brought me to see the bullfights when I still had a pacifier. It would be frustrating not to be able to give that to my children, what my parents gave to me.' ... Bullfighting is part of Spanish culture, but that should change, she says, adding many traditions disappear as the society advances.”
And while animal rights activists hail the ban as a major victory, others say the decision was purely politics from Spain’s most independent-minded region. CNNand Sky News speculate: “The subtext here was local politics in the Catalan region there is a strong independence movement. Some here saying that’s really the politicians here got behind this ban.”
MATADOR: “The only thing they care about is independence from Spain. It’s a purely political decision. They want to separate themselves from everything that has Spanish ties. Bullfighting to them sounds Spanish...”
But lawmakers who support the ban maintain the decision has less to do with politics and more to do with the sport’s declining popularity in the region. But as ITNand France 24 report, both sides say this fight isn’t over.
BULLFIGHTER: “For the minute you’ve only got anti-bullfighting people, and the bullfighting fraternities have never organized itself against it. But I think you might get a backlash.”
REPORTER: “But that backlash might not be enough. Catalonia is the first mainland Spanish region to ban bullfighting, and many believe the vote could cause a chain reaction.”
“And in fact in Madrid, 51,000 signatures have been collected to take that debate to Madrid, which is for some the heart of bullfighting.”
The bullfighting ban goes into effect in 2012.

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