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On air: Can you get away with anything in the name of tradition?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 14:17 UK time, Wednesday, 28 July 2010

bullfighting.jpgCatalonia today became the first mainland Spanish region to ban bullfighting

The bill went to parliament after 180,000 Catalans signed a petition circulated by an anti-bullfighting group which argues bullfights are cruel to animals. It will take effect in 2012.

But this is a Spanish tradition. To watch bullfighting is often very expensive and you have to actively seek it out, so is it right that it should be banned? What about the argument, if you don't like it don't watch it?

Silvia Barquero is an anti-bullfighting spokeswoman,

"We understand it's a tradition but now is the time to rethink such a bloody act. There are other traditions we can hang on to,"

Earlier this month the Iranian authorities went back on a sentence to stone a woman to death for adultery, after huge international outcry. The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said stoning was a "medieval punishment" and that its continued use showed Iran's disregard for human rights.

There is a global ban on Whaling, but the Japanese Whaling Association is keen for it to be reintroduced. They say

"Asking Japan to abandon this part of its culture would compare to Australians being asked to stop eating meat pies, Americans being asked to stop eating hamburgers and the English being asked to go without fish and chips."

Is the country as relevant as the tradition? Are we willing to turn a blind eye to cock fighting in Haiti because it's a developing country? But are there higher expectations from developed countries like Spain and Japan? And should there be?

Here are other traditions....Female Genital mutilation, Albinos killed for their body parts in Tanzania.

What about fox hunting - banned in the UK because it is considered cruel, yet opponents of the ban say it is a tradition and a successful pest control measure.

Is it about being a civilised society or respecting tradition?

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