Catalan Parliament has finally approved to ban bullfighting in Catalonia. This decision has attracted much foreign media attention and surprise for its supposed meaning coming from a country which is now inside the Spanish state. Even though it was popular in Catalonia many decades ago and Barcelona even had at one point 3 bullfighting rings those have progressively closed as people lost interest and now there’s only one left open. Nowadays bullfighting “shows” in Barcelona are practically only attended by tourists brought in for the show from nearby towns, mistakenly thinking they’re watching a popular local tradition.
The bullfighting ban was promoted by an animal rights association and it was decided that this time Catalan deputies would have freedom to vote, since every other time they must vote according to the party’s guidelines and therefore the pro bullfighting Spanish lobbies have been pressuring very strongly each deputy whose vote wasn’t clear.
The Spanish have taken this ban as an offense, even though the Canary Islands banned it back in 1991, since they see this as an attack to their fragile national identity, based in symbols such as bullfighting, especially if this initiative comes from Catalonia, a country where latest polls show that a majority of people want independence and where a few days ago more than a million people took the streets of Barcelona to defend Catalonia’s right to regain its independence.
On the other hand, most people in Catalonia just see this ban as a normal and logical step towards a more civilised society where animal torture has no space in public shows. The ban will come into full effect in 2012 and no more bullfights will be allowed
International press coverage: