Bullfighting in Barcelona ends with Catalonia ban

 

Supporters for and against the ban clashed in Barcelona after the fight

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Bullfighting fans in Catalonia have seen the last fights before a ban on the age-old tradition comes into effect in Spain's north-eastern region.

About 20,000 spectators filled Barcelona's famous Monumental arena, where top matadors performed.

Lawmakers voted for the ban last year - the first in mainland Spain - after 180,000 people signed a petition.

They say the bullfighting is barbaric, but opponents say they will challenge the ban in Spain's top court.

Sell-out show

Start Quote

For a city like Barcelona to close this arena is like throwing a Picasso painting into the garbage”

End Quote Critobal Corrida fan

The ban takes effect on 1 January, but Sunday's fights in Catalonia were the last events of the 2011 season.

Spain's top three matadors performed at the arena on Sunday, including legendary Jose Tomas.

They killed six half-tonne bulls to loud shouts of "Ole!" of the fans.

After the last animal was killed, the crowd carried the three matadors on their shoulders out of the arena to the applause of onlookers.

"For a city like Barcelona to close this arena is like throwing a Picasso painting into the garbage," Cristobal, one of the fans at the Monumental, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

Tickets for the historic bullfights in Barcelona sold out at record speed. They were trading on the black market for up to five times their original value, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Spain reports.

Many corrida (bullfighting) fans protested outside the arena, carrying posters which read "RIP" in blood-red letters and blowing whistles.

Bullfighting

  • Those taking part in the a bullfight are called toreros, while the person in charge of killing the bull is the matador de toros - killer of bulls
  • Fighters can be awarded the bull's ears, tail or hooves as a trophy
  • Barcelona's last bullring, the Monumental, stages 15 fights each year - each contest involves about six bulls
  • Author Ernest Hemingway was an admirer of Spanish bullfighting and wrote about its rituals in 1932 in Death in the Afternoon
  • The tradition dates back at least 4,000 years and is thought to have been popularised by the Romans
  • It remains popular in southern France, Portugal and some South American countries

But such large crowds have been rare at the Barcelona bullring for some time, and this dwindling support is one reason the regional parliament voted in favour of banning the corrida, our correspondent adds.

She adds that there is also a growing awareness of animal rights and, crucially, the desire of Catalan nationalists to distinguish the region from the rest of Spain and its traditions.

Bullfighting is permitted in all other regions of Spain except in the Canary Islands, which banned it in 1991.

Campaigners hope to extend the ban across the country, but they face a far tougher task in traditional bullfighting heartlands like Andalucia and Madrid, our correspondent says.

She says many people there dismiss all talk of cruelty and argue that the corrida is an age-old art form that must be protected and preserved.

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 236.

    217.Ian_Nic
    30 Minutes ago
    Really, the whole symbolism of the effeminately-dressed guy stabbing a drugged and disoriented animal: it's just one big homo-erotic pageant for guys who won't come out of the closet.
    ....
    you think it should be banned because it is GAY? Well that is a new train of thought. Nothing to do with you eating meat then?

    @234.Puska
    You are part of the factory system

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 235.

    Response to #228: What a ridiculous argument: Human beings have compassion and the ability and choices not to kill animals. Other animals don't have those abilities or choices. Ruled by a penguin? Face to face with a predator? Is that they best you can come up with to justify the cruelty of the factory farming system? Here's an idea: Just don't kill anything you don't have to kill. Simple

  • Comment number 234.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 233.

    It seems to me that cows and chickens are involved in a breakfast meal. Hogs on the other hand are committed.

    I'm curious. Where does cow tipping stand on the scale of barbarism?"

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 232.

    202.Chemical-Mix
    one is killing and maiming for entertainment, the other is for sustenance. I am no fan of intensive meat farming, but people need to eat i'm afraid and you cannot consider them cruel for wanting to keep themselves alive.
    ....
    Hillarious, you don't need meat, if fact it will shorten your life.. become a vegan or take you hippocracy else where.

  • Comment number 231.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 230.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 229.

    #222 Response: Silly, indeed. There is no comparison between faming vegetables and the horrors of our factory farming system. Think.
    #221 Response: Regions don't have the right to decide if their culture justifies cruelty. The American South unanimously wanted to continue slavery. The North banned it. No one--no region, no individual--has the right to choose cruelty.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 228.

    I love animals but animal activists make me laugh with their sanctimonious nonsense and incessant preaching.
    They would have us ruled by an Emperor penguin and have us only eat grass so long as it was humanely mowed.
    How I would love to watch them trying to reason face to face with a natural predator such as a Lion, Polar bear, shark etc - don't eat me, I'm on your side - can I have my arm back?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 227.

    217. Ian_Nic
    Really, the whole symbolism of the effeminately-dressed guy stabbing a drugged and disoriented animal: it's just one big homo-erotic pageant for guys who won't come out of the closet.
    ////
    I am now gagging for your views on football- and rugby players as well. I mean, the material is infinite. Probably the only real-man-sport is chess.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 226.

    news_monitor: I ask for respect for others' views & you say "Presumably, that includes the views of people like Saddam Hussain, Hitler and others who also had 'acceptable' viewpoints & practices?" You presume way too much. You can't logically compare the actions of dictators with those of people who enjoy a bullfight. If you do you need a sense of perspective. I can't argue with folk like you.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 225.

    Another step to a MacDonalds world.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 224.

    203.Puska What does being against cruel to animals in bullfights got to do with eating meat? EVERYTHING!!!!

    I am sick and tired of those arguments too!... Listen, meat animals of any kind are killed in abbatoirs in as humanly as possible manner (I am a vet!)..
    ... no creo es verdad
    probably same kind of vet who puts electrodes in monkey brains, They are strictly regulated by law too.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 223.

    One reason why Spain won't ban bullfighting is all the revenue still coming in from foreign tourists who are attracted by this tradition. I am sure the Chinese for one will be a very lucrative target group. Can't see them queue to watch kids fight though, so we might have to introduce bull fighting here as well.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 222.

    What of the crops that destroy the habitat of animals (who then die) to feed humans something other than meat? And all those pesticides which kill hundreds of insects (or don't they count as animals?) to get you your veggies? Just being silly of course, but where is the line drawn?
    PS: "toreador" doesn't exist, it's a mistake by Bizet (a Frenchman) in his opera Carmen. Get some real facts!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 221.

    Personally I think it is a cruel "sport" but of course the people of those regions have the right to decide if its cultural significance outweighs any notions of animal welfare.
    Foreigners should keep their noses out, it is all about the right to self rule.
    If the movement comes from within those regions and is backed by a majority then a bill should be put forward to ban it but not before.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 220.

    On the meat-eating issue which has (inevitably?) crept into the talk, I eat meat, but respect Vegans, and anyone's choice of food. But I understand it better when it's distaste for the stuff rather than not wanting to be responsible for an animal's death. Unless you also never wear leather (the skin of an animal killed for your pair of shoes). And one could push the argument further (in next post)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 219.

    52. Algernon Fluffwood
    I'm really surprised that the EU hasn't issued a Europe wide ban on this. ////
    Absolutely! Let's ban all those bullfights in Croydon, Kreuzberg, De Jordaan and on the Champs Elysees!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 218.

    Puska, I've spoken with employees and ex-employees of abbatoirs, I've watched documentaries, I've read reports and articles about them. They're not regulated strictly enough. And they act with a lot of impunity. But anyway, most people do not need to eat meat for sustenance. So I disagree that it's ok to kill animals as long as it's done humanely, I don't think they should be killed at all.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 217.

    I always wondered about those who consider bullfighters to be "manly". I mean, the bull is drugged and has no weapons. The toreador has a sword and a bunch of guys backing him up.
    Where's the manliness?
    Really, the whole symbolism of the effeminately-dressed guy stabbing a drugged and disoriented animal: it's just one big homo-erotic pageant for guys who won't come out of the closet.

 

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