Animal rights activists have been trying to ban this local sport and longtime tradition for years, and in Cartalonia, they finally saw their hard work pay off when on January 1st lawmakers banned bullfighting.
This ban has been quite controversial, triggering debate all over the country. While many see the event as cruelty to animals, others see it as an important tradition, a part of Spanish culture that should not and cannot be lost.
According to the Spanish constitution, the national Parliament can vote to overturn initiatives if 500,000 or more signatures are collected in support of the agenda. Well, 590,000 have signed off on a petition to not only change the ban in Cartalonia, but also to see bullfighting protected as a national historic tradition.
Bullfighting, also known as tauromaquia , in Spain and Latin American countries is compared to other barbaric sports, such as cockfighting, which is a major source of income and entertainment in many countries. In the interior of Panama, for example, it’s normal to see cages set up in peoples’ front lawns, where prized fighting fouls are raised and trained for Saturday evening fights. Residents treat their fighting chickens with respect, and show them off proudly.
Some call this barbaric, and animal cruelty, but whether you support it or not, it’s as much of a local tradition as sport fishing in the United States. It’s the old world version of catch-and-release…minus the release on some occasions. Some Spanish activists refer to bullfighting as an art form (along the same lines as painting, dancing, singing, and acting), practiced for centuries, while animal rights activists argue that it’s a blood sport.
The fact is, if this petition passes, the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia should be overturned, and the art form/blood sport will be protected, like the endangered species it’s becoming.