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September 27, 2011

Final Curtain Falls on Catalonian Bullfighting

Humane Society International/Europe

  • Bullfighting is now banned in Catalonia. Christian Martínez Kempin/istock

by Joanna Swabe

Sunday 25th September 2011 saw the fall of the final curtain on bullfighting in Catalonia.

As the 2011 bullfighting season drew to a close, the last-ever spectacle of such animal cruelty to be staged at a bullring in this Spanish region was held in Barcelona. The Catalan legislation banning the barbaric practice of bullfighting is due to enter into force on 1st January 2012.

Historic moment

The last bullfight in Barcelona is a historic moment. No longer will defenceless animals in Catalonia be forced to endure brutal suffering for the purposes of public entertainment. Nonetheless, we cannot forget that thousands of bulls elsewhere in the country will fall victim to this horrific bloodsport.

Humane Society International hopes that other regions in Spain—and elsewhere in the world—will follow the Catalonians' lead and also relegate bullfighting to the annals of history.

Bullfighting is not culture, it is cruelty: Sign on to our letter to UNESCO today.

In July 2010, the Catalan Parliament voted in favour of banning bullfighting. This ban follows from the Initiative Legislative Popular, which was launched by the Catalonian animal protection platform PROU! in 2008. At the time, more than 180,000 Catalonian citizens signed the ILP calling for a Catalonian bullfighting ban. A Gallup poll conducted in 2007 had previously revealed that 80 percent of Catalonia’s 7 million citizens had no interest in bullfights.

Increasing opposition to cruelty

There has been increasing opposition to bullfighting as public awareness of the cruel realities involved grows. Many towns and municipalities have voted to ban the practice in their own jurisdictions, including the Canary Islands, and a recent Gallup survey showed that 72 percent of Spaniards have no interest in bullfighting. Make your voice heard for bulls.

Dr. Joanna Swabe is HSI’s EU director.