Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    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)