Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France commemorates a hero of the left

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Diplomatic strain for John Kerry

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany and Russia 'discuss secret Ukraine deal'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Fake Twitter accounts spread Chinese propaganda

Read more

  • Paris hosts its first pro-Israel rally since start of Gaza offensive

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new game plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Israel calls up 16,000 more reservists as US condemns school shelling

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 crash site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with creditors

    Read more

Europe

Catalonia lawmakers set to vote on banning bullfighting

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-28

Catalonia's parliament is preparing to vote Wednesday on whether to prohibit bullfighting in the northeastern region by removing an exception from a wider ban on the killing or mistreating of animals for entertainment.

AFP - Bullfighting in Spain could suffer its biggest setback to date on Wednesday when the Catalonia parliament votes whether to ban the practice in the separatist-minded northeastern region.
   
The vote comes after animal rights activists campaigning under the platform "Prou!", or "Enough!" in the Catalan language, collected 180,000 signatures in Catalonia on a petition calling for the assembly to decide on a motion on the ban.
   
The most recent indications are that a majority of the 135 regional lawmakers are in favour of the motion, which tightens Catalonia's animal protection law to remove an exception for bullfights from a ban on the killing or mistreating animals in shows.
   
If approved, Catalonia -- home to Spain's second-largest city, Barcelona -- would become the first region in the country outside of the Canary Islands to ban bullfighting, and others could follow its example.
   
While the arguments for banning bullfighting have focused on animal rights, many in the rest of Spain believe the push in Catalonia is based largely on a desire among some Catalans to emphasise their distinct identity.
   
In an editorial published Tuesday, centre-right daily newspaper El Mundo wrote that the issue had become political in a region where the "idea is to ban everything that is Spanish".
   
The vote comes one month after Spain's Constitutional Court struck down several articles of Catalonia's "statute of autonomy", which expanded the already significant powers of self-rule of the region with its own language and distinct culture.
   
Conservative media commentators have suggested that Catalan lawmakers may seek their revenge by banning bullfighting.
   
The Catalan public works minister and regional government spokesman, Joaquim Nadal, said he was confident the issue would not be used as "an element of confrontation" between Catalonia and the rest of Spain.
   
"Bulls are bulls and politics is politics," he told reporters in Barcelona.
   
Jose Montilla, the president of the Catalan regional government, has given his 37 socialist lawmakers in the assembly the freedom to vote according to their consciences.
   
A vote in block by the Catalan socialists, which had initially been expected, would have guaranteed a defeat for the motion to ban bullfighting.
   
Opponents of bullfighting, who are more numerous in Catalonia than the rest of Spain, point out that its appeal is declining quickly in the region even though the last active bullring in Barcelona still regularly stages fights.
   
They have counted on the strong support of international animal rights activists in their drive to get the motion passed.
   
The World Society for the Protection of Animals delivered to each member of the Catalan parliament Monday a petition backing the bullfight ban that was signed by 140,000 people from around the world.
   
"Local members of parliament have the chance to make a bold statement about the region’s modern attitude by refusing to allow the continuance of this outdated and cruel practice," said group president Mike Baker.
   
The vote comes as the bullfighting sector -- which generates about 40,000 jobs -- feels the effects of Spain's economic downturn, with many smaller municipalities dropping bullfights from their annual "fiestas" to save money.
   
Top bullfighter Jose Tomas said banning bullfighting in Catalonia would be "a terrible loss".
   
"To think they can steal a part of all you admire, that is so important to your life, your profession, it's hard," he said in an interview published over the weekend in daily newspaper La Razon.

 

Date created : 2010-07-28

COMMENT(S)