End of an era for bull-fighting in Spain’s Catalonia

September 26th, 2011 - 11:24 am ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 26 (IANS) The age-old tradition of bull-fighting came to an end in Spain’s Catalonia region with a final show held Sunday in Barcelona, BBC reported.

Lawmakers in Catalonia — Spain’s northeastern region — voted in 2010 for the ban, the first in Spain, after 180,000 people signed a petition.

They said bull-fighting was “barbaric”. Opponents, however, say they will challenge the ban in court.

The ban takes effect Jan 1, 2012, but Sunday’s fights in Catalonia were expected to be the last events of the 2011 season.

Tickets for the historic bull-fights sold out at record speed. They have been sold on the black market for up to five times the original value, BBC said.

Large crowds, however, have been rare in the Barcelona bull-ring for some time, and this dwindling support has been one reason the regional parliament voted in favour of banning the act.

There has also been a growing awareness of animal rights and, the desire of Catalan people to “distinguish the region” from the rest of Spain.

Bull-fighting is permitted in all other regions of Spain except in the Canary Islands.

Campaigners hope to extend the ban across the country, but they face a far tougher task in traditional bull-fighting heartlands like Andalucia and Madrid.

Many people there dismiss all talk of cruelty and say that bull-fighting is an age-old art form that must be protected and preserved, the report said.

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