Spanish Government Overturns Catalonia’s Ban On Bullfighting


In a move that has shocked the world, Spain’s top court has overturned Catalonia’s ban on bullfighting; which had been in place since July 2010. The case was brought to the constitutional court in Madrid by the ruling Popular Party – a conservative group fiercely opposed to Catalan Independence.

This huge move backwards is however being challenged by the animal rights party Pacma, whose name in English means ‘the Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals’. Pacma was founded in 2003 with the purpose of defending the rights of animals in Spain and in 2015 the party received over 1 million votes in the national elections.

Ana Bayle, Pacma’s executive member for Catalonia told talk RADIO that their plan of action has not yet been finalised however they will soon be holding a press conference to publish their roadmap.

Bayle said that the decision to overturn the ban and other such decisions that are taken means that “animals are the victims of alien political struggles”, she added that the attempt to effectively force bullfighting on Catalonia makes no economic sense; indeed, she notes, “this sentence highlights the fact that the high court doesn’t want to say anything about the economic viability of bullfighting.”

Bayle said: “It’s one thing that bullfighting was declared [part of Spain’s] cultural heritage back in the day and another thing is the reality that the society is advancing to more respectful values towards the animals and the environment.”

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Running of the Bulls

running of the bulls

It is thought that the origin of the running of the bulls festival began in Spain during the early 14th century. Men transporting cattle would try to speed up the process by hurrying them using fear tactics. This eventually turned into a competition and young adults would try to race in front of the bulls. The most well known of the running of the bulls festivals take place in Pamplona, Spain in July of each year.

What most tourists don’t know is that all of the bulls who run in the streets will later on be killed in the bullfighting arena.

Before the run takes place the bulls are purposely kept in darkness, so that when they are eventually released they are blinded by the daylight.

People hit them with rolled-up newspapers. The panicked bulls can lose their footing and crash into walls, sometimes breaking bones and suffering other injuries. At the end of each day of the festival they will be stabbed to death.