One of Spain’s most famous traditions is under threat as the Catalonia region gets ready to vote on a controversial bull fighting ban. Activists in the Spanish region have collected the required amount of signatures to force the regional parliament to debate the future of this Spanish tradition. After collecting the 180,000 signatures, the Catalonian ‘Prou!’ group called for an end to the sport and a tightening of the Catalonian animal protection laws. This marks the first step to Catalonia becoming the first Spanish region outside of the Canary Islands to
Ban the popular sport.
Tourists heading to the region often head to one of the bull rings to witness one of the traditional fights, the arenas are regularly filled to capacity to watch the dramatic fight and the brutal end result. However there is a rising disinterest in the sport throughout Spain itself especially amongst the younger generation. Bullfighting is also losing an economic battle with only 900 bullfighters in the country, a drop of 350 in the last year.
The petition is being opposed by over 300 Catalans; some calling it an attack on the freedom of those who enjoy bullfights. Others are publishing a manifesto calling for the protection of the regions cultural heritage. Many fear that a ban on bull fighting could lead to a bad of the highly popular running of the bulls. The bull runs attract thousands of tourists every year, bringing much needed finance to the area.
The ban is proving to be a heated topic of discussion within Catalonia. Leonardo Anselmi, head of the Free Animals Association states that ‘Catalan society is ready for a change, for the abolition of bullfighting’.