Bullfighting declared legal in France

Spanish bullfighter tackles bull in Arles, southern France, 9 Sep 12 This month a corrida was staged in Arles, featuring Spanish bullfighters

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France's Constitutional Council, a top legal authority, has rejected a plea from animal rights campaigners to ban bullfighting.

The campaigners wanted the fights categorised as cruelty to animals.

But the judges said the "traditional" fights, held in areas of southern France, "do not harm people's protected constitutional rights".

More than 1,000 bulls are killed annually in French bullfights, the AFP news agency reports.

Although bullfighting originated in neighbouring Spain, it took root in France a century and a half ago. Fights - known as corridas in Spain - are especially popular in the Nimes and Arles areas.

A ban on bullfighting came into force in Spain's Catalonia region this year, after lawmakers voted for it last year - the first such ban in the country's mainland.

The BBC's Christian Fraser in Paris says a recent opinion poll in France suggested 48% support for a ban, although earlier polls suggested as many as two-thirds of the French electorate would back a ban.

France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls, born in Barcelona, spoke in favour of bullfighting earlier this month.

Bullfights are banned in some parts of France. Animal rights groups are now considering taking the issue to the European Court of Human Rights, our correspondent reports.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 278.

    131. Stokkevn
    Little else need be said about the state of mind of the people up in arms about this that a comment celebrating (quite literally) the death of a man is so highly rated.
    Yes bull fighting is cruel, so are a lot of things we do to animals.
    Feeling any joy at the idea of a person dying, is far far more disgusting than bull fighting will ever be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 277.

    Not my kind of fun, but why are some groups so intent on stopping people from enjoying themselves

  • rate this

    Comment number 276.

    I went to a bullfight in Ecuador. And there they did not harm the bulls at all, I suppose because they are too valuable. That said I have no great issue with any of these fights - people should probably be getting more uppety about the fact that dairy cows still have no legal protection in the EU and sometimes live a whole lifetime of unimaginable cruelty.
    And the EU court of Human Rights? Really?

  • rate this

    Comment number 275.

    It's hard to know when bullfighting really started, or why, but to the Romans it was sacred and there is some evidence the Minoans had acrobats who performed with them, so it has not always been this way. It may be a symbolic re-enactment of the defeat of such people. Either way, it long since lost any historic meaning or purpose, which means all that is left is cruelty, which is not worth keeping

  • rate this

    Comment number 274.

    What is said was, the only bit of bull fighting that has merit, is when the bull gets on top and serves justice to its human tormentors...


Comments 5 of 278


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