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Should bullfighting be outlawed?

09:32 UK time, Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The parliament of Catalonia has voted to ban bullfighting. It is now the first region of mainland Spain to ban bullfighting. Do you agree with a ban?

180,000 people have signed a petition arguing that the practice is barbaric and outdated. Bullfight supporters insist that the corrida, as it is known, is an important tradition to preserve.

Some believe that the ban isn't about animal rights but is an attempt by Catalans to mark their difference from the rest of Spain by rejecting one of its best known traditions.

What impact will outlawing the corrida have on Spanish culture and livelihoods? What impact will a ban have on other regions in mainland Spain?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Bullfighting is undoubtedly barbaric, although I understood it has been waning in popularity for some time. If this is the case, then banning it is pointless, as it will endure a slow, painful death, unlike the unfortunate bulls, through economic starvation. It is, however, part of Spanish culture, therefore it is up to Spaniards to decide and no-one else.

  • Comment number 2.

    Until we effectively ban blood sports in this country (i.e. in such a way that does not allow hunts to continue without sanction, claiming any kills are an 'accident') I don't think we're in any position to comment on what other countries propose to do!

  • Comment number 3.

    I think it definitely should, but it's not down to us - it's down to the Spaniards.

  • Comment number 4.

    At least their proposed ban is not based on the thinly disguised class war notions that did for hunting in britain. Its a spanish decision for them to make at the end of the day.

  • Comment number 5.

    If it was up to me and the event took place in Britain I'd see it banned tommorow.

    But its a Spanish tradition, a deeply unpleasant one, but theirs none the less, possibly going back to Roman times, possibly much more recent depending on which version you choose to believe.

    So lets leave them alone to decide for themselves.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm inherently not in favour of legal bans... if you do not believe an action is right, do not participate, even campaign against it if you feel that strongly: but nobody has the right to demand that another should change his ways purely on the strength of how they feel about it. At least make the effort to persuade the other...

    But in the end it is up to the Catalan people to decide what they want to do, and what they wish to give up. So if they choose to end the corrida, their decision must be respected.

  • Comment number 7.

    I really cannot understand why anyone enjoys watching an animal being baited and killed.

    Bull fighting occurs elsewhere without such a finish.

    Ah, but it's another tradition, isn't it? Traditions can be wonderful. Traditions can be barbaric. Nothing, wonderful or barbaric, should be continued simply because it is a tradition - where has reasoning power gone?

    How many gentle pasttimes are carried on because of tradition? And how many cruel or barbaric pasttimes are carried on or attempted to be revived because they are traditional?

  • Comment number 8.

    I wouldn't dare to presume to tell the Spanish what they can & can't do in their own country, especially in matters that concern their culture. It is up to the Spanish only, and no-one else.

  • Comment number 9.

    I am against bull fighting but in favour of the tradition. These bulls live far longer than any bull that doesn't end up in the arena. Those bulls are sold as veal and eaten while they are still babies. I think this vote is more a vote against Spain than a vote in favour of animal rights. The fact that no-one in Catalunya has a problem with the Correbous, a Catalan tradition where the horns of a bull are lit and the animal then let loose in the village, proves this as far as I am concerned. By the way, Catalunya is Spain, look at your DNI and listen to more than 65% of Catalonians! Visca Catalunya dins d'Espanya!

  • Comment number 10.

    One half of me say "Yes "it should be banned but then I think it's a barbaric pastime and should be condemned with the likes of fox hunting with hounds, Dog Fighting, Badger Baiting etc.

    The other says well if the people vote against the ban then actually it's none of my busines and I don't live there anyway.

    Just because it was/is "Tradition" doesn't mean it has to stay regardles

  • Comment number 11.

    Bull-fighting is a blood sport, like any other.

    More enlightened nations have already banned all blood sports, and it is imperative for Spain (not just Catalonia) to do likewise if it wishes to be seen as a modern, progressive country and society.

  • Comment number 12.

    Definately yes, the human race should have realised by now that killing for fun and entertainment is barbaric and wrong. Every animal has feelings just like us, yet we still deprive them of their dignity and right to a peacful non violent life.

  • Comment number 13.

    With all the interference in what we can do in the UK, I am surprised that the EU has allowed Spain (and other nations) to continue this barbaric and inhumane actiivity.

    It cannot be described as a sport as its sole aim is the death of a bull by an inhumane activity.

    If tourists stopped watching it, presumably that would kill off this activity.

  • Comment number 14.

    I cannot gauge the pulse of the majority of Spaniards on the traditional issue of bull-fighting but here in India I can safely bet that the fighting in the holy portals of the Parliament amongst the members of the treasury benches and the opposition is much more realistic and rambunctious than bull-fighting.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm not really sure on this one; perhaps we should ask the bulls for their opinion.

  • Comment number 16.

    Bull fighting is dying. It probably needs EU financial support to maintain it. Supporters will say it is part of Spanish culture - that kind of drivel can be used to defend any obnoxious sport - like quail fighting in the UK eh. Must not mention that must we? Upset the ethnics. Bullfighting was still popular during the 1950s which is why Hollywood stars had affairs with Matadors. Now it would be bad publicity for them. Today's stars are the footballers.

    Even if the vote against it is lost on this occasion its days are numbered. Bloodsports are on the way out. Sadly, our PM, is a supporter of blood sports, but then he is showing himself to be out of touch on most moral and political issues.

  • Comment number 17.

    This is another thing the UK needs to keep their noses out of. Regardless of our views it's entirely up to them to decide.

    Catalonia has a population of around 7.5m so 180k votes is a tiny minority.

  • Comment number 18.

    I've been to a corrida de toros, in Rhonda, not far from where my second home is. I felt that as I intend to retire to Spain I should make the effort to speak the language and understand the culture.

    The public interest is falling rapidly and it's generally the older generations that have interest, the younger generation show very little interest. My local bullring at Puerto Banus closed down some time ago because of a lack of interest. It's something that will die out before long any way.

    It's a matter for the Spanish to decide, it's their history and culture, only they have the right to change it.

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm catalan and really proud of the decision of our parliament to ban bullfighting.
    Although Catalonia is not the first spanish region to ban it, the Canary Islands did the same in 1991.

  • Comment number 20.

    "Should bullfighting be outlawed?"
    It's a decision for Spain but - IMO definitely yes.
    Along with all other so called 'sports' which involves the torturing or chasing of animals before they're finally finished off or ripped apart by packs of dogs.
    I think there's also a case to be made for banning other sports which depend on killing things - such as deer hunting pheasant/grouse shooting etc.
    I'm absolutely certain that I have at least as much fun banging away at clays and shooting at targets that are 500 metres or more away as those that insist on killing things.

  • Comment number 21.

    The Catalan Parliament has just voted to ban bullfighting in the region or, more accurately, to remove the exception it enjoyed within the animal welfare legislation. This is the second Spanish Region to do so (Canary Islands did in 1991). As a Spaniard, I feel very happy and can only hope this trend will continue in other regions. It is specially enjoyable the fact that this ruling is the result of a popular legislative initiative (IPL in Spanish), where 180,000 citizens requested the Regional Parliament to remove the special status enjoyed by bullfighting. And so, it is a sign that more and more Spaniards reject bullfighting and other forms of abuse towards animals.

  • Comment number 22.

    Ban the fighting. Stop killing the bulls in this way. If you have to eat their meat, do it in such a way that they feel no pain or anguish. I ate bulls meat once. It was a mistake. It was a long time ago, but I can still remember it. It was tough, bony, gristly. The bull had been slaughtered that very afternoon, in the ring nearby. I was invited to witness the execution, but I didn't have the stomach for it.

    Once, the bull fighting goes, it will have to be replaced with another spectical, perhaps some form of gladiator competitions. There are plenty of people who'd be willing to take part. Alternatively, provide more football. Use the Dutch coach to show them how it's done in Holland.

  • Comment number 23.

    Ok I'm not spanish but as the act of bull fighting for sport or fun is a horrendous and barbaric act I feel I am entitled to speak my opinion. We live in a world now where no matter where we live we interject ourselves into situtaions that are not always to do with us per say but as caring creatures should we not stand strong against those that oppose these simple unbarbaric, caring ideals we all want to live by? It is an outdated disgusting tradition that needs to be abolished. We as human beings need to speak out for those that cannot for themselves and although I'm sure some of you will find this ridiculous, animals are included in this. It is a sad day when traditions come to an end but this tradition is one our world can gladly live without.

  • Comment number 24.

    bull fighting,dog fighting, boxing, the list is endless. and how long have we been out of the caves ?

  • Comment number 25.

    It's entirely up to the Catalonians to decided. I can understand both their cultural and economic concerns. As regards the latter, might they not convert to the French style of bull-fighting, where the animal is not killed?

  • Comment number 26.

    It's Spanish culture, it's for them to decide. If the country is ready to make a change like this then I would welcome it, if they are not then so be it. I don't remember them pontificating about foxes.

  • Comment number 27.

    As an animal lover I will always be against any form of animal cruelty - and bull fighting in my opinion is highly barbric... just as barbaric as foxhunting. But its not my history or culture, my upbringing did not include killing animals as a form of entertainment. Whatever my personal beliefs are though are irrevelant - this is Spains heritage, handed down for hundreds of years, and is therefore Spains decision.

  • Comment number 28.

    Personally I find the Corrida barbaric and the fact it's called a "sport" is just plain wrong as there is usually only one inevitable winner (it's not the bull)IMHO if you want to look like a "big man" put your spears down and get in that ring naked as the day you were born, if you manage to take a bull down like that I'll be impressed, till then the whole affair seems like little more than macho posturing.
    That being said, & my personal opinions aside, it's a Catalan decision and not really one for the rest of the world to interfere in, so here I sit in my disapproval hoping that they ban it.
    As for the questions posed "what effect will the ban have on spanish culture & livlihoods & what will be the effect on other regions of mainland spain" I believe the Spanish would like to think their culture is based on more than getting a bit stabby with a bull, this is a country brimfull of culture so no effect there.
    Livelihoods? Well this one was bleated around when foxhunting was banned in the UK and yet I'm still not seeing packs of out of work beagles, saddlers and stableboys roaming the countryside causing trouble, so no effect there either. The effect on other regions? Hopefully they'll realise there's no need for this spectacle anymore, there's a good reason outdated practices get consigned to the dustbin. The Spanish are better off without it.

  • Comment number 29.

    None of our business. It is Spanish tradition and they should decide about it. I'm sure the bull lived a better life than most the British meat stock including battery hens.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think bulfighting shoud be ban, it has been ban in the Canary Islands since 1991. Unfortunatelly, the only region in spanish mainland considering the ban is Catalonia, and like everything we catalans do, has become a political issue. Bullfighting has suffer a descend in popularity, and there is only one bullfighting ring left open in Catalonia, and is mainly visited by turist. Perhaps the right thing to do is let the "fiesta" die agonically, but that will be cruel.

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm surprised by this as most people I know here think it already has been banned.

    There hasn't been any bull fighting at the 'main' bullring, on Placa Espana in Barcelona, recently as it's spent the last 3 years at least being turned into a shopping mall.

  • Comment number 32.

    Great news: the ban has won with 68 votes in favour, 55 against, 9 abstained.

    The Spanish Constitutional Court may overturn the ban (as they did last month with the Catalan Estatut, or devolution framework, which had also been approved by Parliament) but this is a victory for common sense and enlightement over barbarism.

  • Comment number 33.

    None of our business. Let the Spanish people decide for themselves.

    As one of my granddaughters once remarked.

    'If we save the whale we are condemning the krill to an early death'.

    I wonder why one form of life is deemed more important than another.

    I digress - it is not our business to save the bull and say to the devil with Spanish culture and tradition. Butt out Britain.

  • Comment number 34.

    Leave it be, this 'sport' is declining anyway and as time marches on will dissapear due to diminishing support, cost of bullring maintinance and lack of participants, leve these blood sports to naturally dissapear as society becomes more sophistocated.

  • Comment number 35.

    I am a carnivore, i love a good tender juicy Steak. The tradition in Spain goes back to prehistoric times, and is linked to the worship of Mithra which died out around the 4th century AD. Many aspects of this "cult" have been included in successive religions, including Christianity. Walk into any church and you will find a large effigy of a sacrificed human being. with a mithraic sun crown.
    Personally i do not find it any more barbaric than lining cattle up and using a bolt gun to kill the animal whilst the other cattle can see their fate.
    Should the Spanish ban the sport, only if they see fit to do so.

  • Comment number 36.

    2. At 09:52am on 28 Jul 2010, totally_bill_hicks wrote:
    Until we effectively ban blood sports in this country (i.e. in such a way that does not allow hunts to continue without sanction, claiming any kills are an 'accident') I don't think we're in any position to comment on what other countries propose to do!


    I've lived in the countryside most of my life and i've grown up with people who now hunt.

    Fox-hunting in the UK isn't really how its presented to general public.

    It has very little to do with pest control - if a farmer has a problem with foxes, they don't pick up the red telephone and call the Hunt - they put down poison or traps, regardless of the law, protecting their livestock comes first.

    The Hunt is a mixture of social occasion,pageantry and tradition, and thats why its been so hard to stop. Those who participate genuinely enjoy the occasion.

    If the spanish feel the same about bullfighting, then any ban will be equally ineffectual, although the logistics of arranging an underground bullfight might prove quite interesting.

  • Comment number 37.

    I ABSOLUTELY HATE todays obsession with banning things. The only ban I would support is a ban on people who wants to ban things. For gods sake just leave people and their traditions along. It is a part of Spanish culture and heritage and it should be left alone.

    The moaning minority have always got something to whine about whether its bull fighting, boxing, the fantastic Isle of Man TT, hunting, films or computer games.

    You are a minority get over yourselves and stop making other peoples lives unpleasant with your incessant whingeing. We don't want to hear you anymore.

  • Comment number 38.

    Megan - what on earth are you talking about? There are 'legal bans' on a whole range of things that I am sure you are in agreement with. Murder,theft rape? Or should we leave that to the individual? The real difference is you don't see animals worthy of legal protection from injury and harm.

  • Comment number 39.

    Catalonia has already been through the bullfighting ban before. About three years ago,relying on the public voice and support of the anti-bullfighting campaigners of Barcelona a secret ballot vote was passed. It was then considered illegal and the vote was reversed.
    Catalonians see this as very public way to separate themselves from the rest of Spain. I'm sure they'll get it right this time and it'll be banned - in Barcelona.

    Here in Seville, Andalucia, the local people are very pro-bullfight.It's an industry that is much needed in these tough times in Andalusia.If after Barcelona pass the ban,Seville is asked to consider it too, I'm sure the reaction will be the same as last time and it will be thrown in the bin without a discussion.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think this is fantastic news and I commend the Catalan people and legislature...

    I'm a little suprised how many people think that issue is entirely a matter for the Spanish people whilst at the same time agreeing that bull baiting is cruel: I agree that it must be decided by the people of Spain for legal reasons, but since when did morality have a nationality? Would you say that slavery, female genital mutiliation, war crimes, bear bile farming and forced marriage are all issues on which we should remain nobly silent whilst at the same time disagreeing with the practice? No! We may not have a vote on the issue but we have every right - indeed we have a responsibility - to fight for the rights of the oppressed, wherever they are in the world.

  • Comment number 41.

    Let us now see the end of Spain's cruel traditions. Following public protest they ceased to crush donkeys and to hurl goats from church roofs. We should also remember that bullfighting is popular in southern France.

  • Comment number 42.

    None of you has any conception of what it is to be a bull. Where do you get off deciding that there is no harm done when you kill them for your own amusement?

  • Comment number 43.


    I agree with Ernest Hemingway - "I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after".

    This debate is similar in nature when an animal is killed for meat or clothing, and the nature of killing is important to some to justify the 'moral' and 'reasoning'. And, while some debate the benefits of meat and will not eat the same on 'moral' grounds if they are asked to kill the animal for food.

    Therefore, on the same basis as long as you can argue of being vegetarian or not in context to killing an animal; one can argue the killing of animal in the bull ring!!

  • Comment number 44.

    I believe that when the world sees that a whole country carries on a barbaric, senseless tradition that is nothing more than the cruel torture of an animal, it truly hurts that nation's image and each of its citizens mental well being. I am one of many who see Spain as a wonderful place, beautiful and enchanting, with a major flaw... it's people are still living in a dream world supported by a cruel, sick sport. Spain needs to wake up to this very ugly side of its culture and reject it... this is long overdue. To excuse this behavior as a tradition and thereby untouchable denies man's ability to think and grow and is unacceptable.

  • Comment number 45.

    It is already banned in the UK. Anywhere else is none of our business.

  • Comment number 46.

    Bravo Catalonia!

  • Comment number 47.

    I live in catalonia and have a catalan wife. Here it is considered a barbaric activity, and an extremely negative image to give tourists. especially as it is a strictly Spanish activity rather that a catalan one.

    I think for the catalan identity it is important to make this difference between Spain and the catalans, especially given the latest political tensions in the peninsula.

    It is felt that Spain is forcing its "spanishness" upon catalonia, who were forced into the spanish "country" through conquest and political repression.

    Finally , the catalans are taking the fight to spain and saying that enough is enough.

    ben fet i visca catalonia lluire

  • Comment number 48.

    In the twenty-first Century can we not come up with other ways to annoy animals that don't involve killing them? Why do people want to annoy animals anyway? If people want to show how brave they are, can they not find other more positive ways of doing so?

  • Comment number 49.

    I am Spanish and I have my heart in two places, I am fully aware that its barbaric and the bulls suffer immensely,no question about this, but I also love the art of bullfighting and I am an avid fan, and have been many many times, Apart from football, Bullfighting comes second in the Spanish Calendar, The North of Spain has never been an avid supporter of Bullfighting, but the South...are as passionate to Bullfighting as they are too football. Catalunya has always been in the forefront of change and this marks a historical move for them in their quest for independance and ultimately a Catalunya separate from Spain. Going back to Bullfighting, trust me there are alot more barbaric acts thoroughout Europe which doesn't get half as much scope as Bullfighting does, La Mattanza in Italy, Bears in Romania to name a few. We can all comment but ultimately this is for the Spanish people and the decision must come from them.

  • Comment number 50.

    13. At 10:32am on 28 Jul 2010, Andrew Lye wrote:
    With all the interference in what we can do in the UK, I am surprised that the EU has allowed Spain (and other nations) to continue this barbaric and inhumane actiivity.


    Sorry, did I miss the ban on Morris Dancing?

    What local traditions, in any member country, has the EU ever tried to ban?

    (Urban myths like 'bendy bananas' not accepted as legitimate answers. usual terms and conditions apply...)

  • Comment number 51.

    I suppose this is up to Barcelona and we should stop patronising them by telling the Spanish what to do within their culture.

    On a personal level, I am a British aficionado of bullfighting and I find this very sad. On another level, I'm a libertarian so I don't like governments who ban things! I tend to find that they ultimately regret their lack of tolerance.

    As some are aware this has far more to do with the intricate and divisive politics the regions of Spain than cruelty to animals.

    I can't be bothered to respond to most of the comments about what happens during a corrida. Suffice it to say that almost everything you read in an english speaking paper contains major errors, put about by PETA and the like.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yes, absolutely should be banned. It is barbaric. I don't buy into the nonsense it is an "important tradition". It used to be tradition to feed children to the lions in Rome or hang them publicly for theft in England but we've grown beyond that. Some traditions are simply wrong. Period.

  • Comment number 53.

    I've been to bullfights in the past when staying with friends in Spain and Portugal and to be honest I preferred the version were the bull doesn't die. There are several bullfighting groups that do not use lances, knives and swords and the bulls suffer no physical injuries during the performance. For me, this is a greater display of skill and courage but then I haven't grown up in a country where bullfighting is a national tradition.

    I'm afraid I find the suffering argument to be little bit hypocritical, intensively farmed animals suffer far more and for far longer than any fighting bull ever will yet the vast majority of people are more than happy to condone and support this form of suffering because it is out of sight and provides them with cheap meat. I would also suggest that Kosher and Halal butchering is just as cruel as bullfighting but because it is done behind closed doors most people don't consider it to be an issue.

    If we're going to discuss animal welfare then we need to do so in a way that includes all forms of animal suffering from the ritual, traditional and industrial otherwise it is nothing less than a witch hunt against public displays of suffering that involve tiny numbers of animals while those forms of suffering that goes on behind closed doors and causes suffering on an industrial scale gets ignored.

    In all honesty I find caged pig farming and battery chicken sheds far more disgusting than bullfighting.

  • Comment number 54.

    Yes I think bullfighting should be banned. I don't care if people claim it's tradition - it is cruel. If tradition over rules progress and common sense then we would never have progressed.

    Before we step in and tell Spain about animal cruelty we also need to get our own house in order - I'm getting ready to fight tooth and nail to keep fox hunting banned in the UK. I just know the Tories and the Liberals are going to attempt to bring it back for the rich and the Royal Family.

  • Comment number 55.

    Of course it should be banned. I question the mentality of anyone who gets excited and cheers when an animal is being killed for fun. And before some bright spark mentions killing animals for meat, no, I don't eat meat. I'm put off by the idea of eating anything with a face.

  • Comment number 56.

    It's a matter for the folks that live there - but if I had any say in the matter, I'd say ban it. The idea of slowly hacking an animal to death for fun is, to say the least, a bit medieval.

  • Comment number 57.

    It is barbaric and primitive.
    They even hone down the bulls horns so that they are extra sensitive,
    sheer barbarism.

  • Comment number 58.

    11. At 10:28am on 28 Jul 2010, Simon Morgan wrote:
    Bull-fighting is a blood sport, like any other.

    More enlightened nations have already banned all blood sports, and it is imperative for Spain (not just Catalonia) to do likewise if it wishes to be seen as a modern, progressive country and society.
    A truly modern and progressive nation and culture does not seek to impose its current moral whims and fancies upon other members of that nation. Don't be so crass!

    A truly modern and progressive nation should be able to persuade through reasoned argument and be able to convince those adherents to bullfighting that the sport is cruel and should be ended through mutual agreement. Open dialogue, reasoned argument and the ability to live and let live are the true mark of a modern, progressive nation, not using laws to bully and enforce modern cultural morality onto others.

    Whilst no great fan of blood sports, I am even less enamored of this drive to brow beat people out of activities they have seen as cultural norms for centuries, whether you think it barbaric or not.

    As many have already said, bullfighting is on the wane anyway, so there is nothing wrong with allowing it to slip quietly into the annals of history as it will inevitably do so.

    But all of this is academic anyway as this is a Spanish and Catalan issue and absolutely nothing to do with us here in the UK.

  • Comment number 59.

    Ban bullfighting? No way! I just love the cultural experience of watching a clown prance around, torment a bull and kill it slowly. My, how brave the matador must be against the mighty bull! The sadism and the blood is absolutely thrilling! It really is the best thing about Spain!

  • Comment number 60.

    Bull-fighting is one of Catalonia's best known tradions but the sport is most certainly barbaric and highly dangerous. In the 21st century one should sift between safe traditions and dangerous ones. Just think of the agony and suffering; sport should be devoid of cruelty.

  • Comment number 61.

    It's a decision for the Spaniards, naturally, but the rest of us are allowed to offer an opinion.

    In my opinion, any 'recreation' that involves inflicting suffering on an animal is wrong: hunting, shooting, fishing, baiting -it doesn't matter. They're all revolting practices carried out by callous or sadistic people who see animals as a means to human pleasure and not as thinking, feeling living beings in their own right.

    The notion that such 'sports' are tradition is merely an observation not an argument. Putting a cat in a bag and suspending it over a fire was a tradition but now it has thankfully passed.

    Those of us in Britain who claim to care about animals and oppose cruelty should concern ourselves with our own actions first and foremost. I do my bit: I've been a campaigner against hunting, fishing, shooting, circuses and vivisection. For the past 12 years, I've been a vegan too. Let's put our own house in order first.

    I do what I do - what I can in an otherwise everyday 'normal' life - not because I put animals above humans but because I oppose cruelty. Anything capable of suffering deserves consideration -physical form and intelligence is irrelevant to that. I don't need to eat animals (though I would if my survival depended on it), I don't have a right to experiment on them to cure my illnesses, and I certainly have no right to torment and kill them for entertainment.

    Why be cruel when you can be kind?

  • Comment number 62.

    I would say bull fighting is part of the Spanish lack of culture - its barbaric and should be banned.

    Let those who support it replace the poor bulls. I am sure this would attract just as many spectators.

    The only bull fight recordings I have seen are those clips on the TV News where the matador gets the bull's horn up his bum - serves him right.

  • Comment number 63.

    I live in Barcelona. While I am in favour of banning bullfighting, this is basically another manoeuvre by the Catalan nationalists to stir up friction and tension between themselves and the central Madrid government, as without this tension they have no political leverage and would simply disappear. That's not to say that the same doesn't apply to the Spanish far-right, which yearns for the days of Franco and hates the separatist regions within Spain. So, as I say, I am happy at the idea of bullfighting dying out, but it is a shame that the issue is being used as a tool for political ends. I fear that many Catalan nationalists do not really care about the fate of the bull in the ring - it's all about sticking a banderilla in the back of the Spanish state. And don't forget: there's elections for the Catalan government in autumn, so all politicians here are playing the "I'm more Catalan than you" card.

  • Comment number 64.

    I live just outside Barcelona.

    None of my family or friends support Bull fighting in any way.

    We all agree that it should be banned in Catalanya. Every region has the right to decide their own policy in this.

    In a country where it is now illegal to cut the tail of a dog, I would say that bull fighting belongs to the past.

    In Portugal they have a form in which the bulls are not killed, so perhaps this could be introduced in the South.

    Mike, Barcelona, Spain

  • Comment number 65.

    First of all, this is a decissions for us Spaniards to make, or in this case those Spaniards living in Catalonia. Second, Catalan polititians have brought this as a clear sign that they want to artificially segretate Spanish tradicions from 'Calatan' traditions. They do not care about bullfighting but about what it means: Spanish milenary tradition.
    Now answering all the animal activists that are screaching around. A Spanish Toro de lidia (bullfighting bull) lives in a very humane condition during years! They help to mantain natural habitats and forest areas (dehesas) where other wild species can also live which otherwise would have been turned into farms. I bet any chicken or pig in this country has a sadder/less humane life and I do not see you campainging around!

  • Comment number 66.

    Yes, ban bullfighting.

    Also, ban the burka.
    Ban the Scots from playing the bagpipes.
    Ban gangsta rap.

    Why does the BBC ask such ridiculous questions?
    Its a matter for the nations and cultures concerned, whether you agree or disagree.

    I would rather ban the BBC from asking pointless questions and saving on some of the license fee.

    Ban the license fee? Hmmm...

  • Comment number 67.

    I went to a bullfight once and have to admit that the first death was quite shocking but after that you get used to the idea and for the spanish its a popular form of entertainment. Let them keep it if they want, its really none of our business here in the UK.

  • Comment number 68.


    And fox hunting.

  • Comment number 69.

    There are very few bullfights in Portugal nowadays.

    But then the Portuguese were always far more civilised than the Spaniards.

  • Comment number 70.

    Spain shopuld stop this immediately.

    It's sickening.

  • Comment number 71.

    Is it true that bull-fighting in Colombia is part of their culture too?

    As for Spain, I have never witnessed bull-fighting so cannot comment on that.

    As for any country; attacking any animal for sport alone is an uncomfortable issue? Hopefully, this question may open up a much wider question that ALL nations and their people must consider?

    Humans have hunted animals, in an organised way, for food throughout history. Any hunting of animals purely for sport however, is not new but increasingly worrying today as so many rare species are under threat?

    America, and many other countries too, have a 'tradition' of hunting wild animals for sport and certain countries thrive on misinformed medicinal properties of certain 'parts' of wild animals? Would it not be better to farm these unfortunate creatures, rather than using poachers to kill them in the wild and drive them into extinction?

    I guess all of the above is more worrying than bull-fighting in Spain?

  • Comment number 72.

    Just a couple of reminders for those that aren't aware:

    Bull fighting supporters believe that rather than electrocute a bull's head in order to kill it instantaneously for meat isn't as honourable as giving it a chance to live by fighting a human in a bull ring - bulls sometimes kill bull fighters, in which case the bull survives and is put out to pasture. All dead bull meat is normally donated to local orphanages. This is what I've picked-up over the years form supporters.

  • Comment number 73.

    to everyone claiming bullfighting is tradition: burning witches used to be fairly traditional in Europe, as did the persecution of epileptics. all three are backward practices that have no place in a modern society. if the Spanish are so keen to fight with bovine mammals, they should do so with bare hands and not stick the animal half to death with spears before they get into the ring with it. same for fox hunting - if you can track and catch a fox with only your bare hands, be my guest.

  • Comment number 74.

    As a Barcelona resident for the last 8 years, I'm really pleased with this amendment to the animal cruelty law in Catalonia. Bullfighting is an anachronism, a brutal and cruel shadow on Spain's and Catalonia's cultures.

    Like bear baiting, dog fights, cock fights etc, people are now turning their backs on this 'art form' for good. I hope that the rest of Spain, which is for the most part a very civilised and forward-thinking country, will follow suit.

    This has nothing to do with Catalonia versus Spain' or anything like that. It's just about the prevention of cruelty of animals, a noble cause that has much to celebrate today.

  • Comment number 75.

    I've never been to the bullfighting but it doesn't look very nice on tv.

    Spanish Culture, Spanish Decision.

  • Comment number 76.

    Supporters say that the corrida is an art form that it is vital to preserve with absolutely no thought for the pain and suffering of the poor animals. I wonder when a bull-fighter is killed by a highly justified bull defending itself, whether the act is still called an art form? This is a sickening "sport" which should have been banned a long time ago

  • Comment number 77.

    In the canary islands are banned for 30 years and nothing has happened. Do not confuse tradition with nation.

  • Comment number 78.

    To Poster No 2, we do not have 'blood sports' in this country, look up the definition please, the term refers to 'sports' such as badger baiting, dog fights etc where the animal is in an enclosed space and cannot escape.

  • Comment number 79.

    I was against bullfighting until I was attacked by a bull on a National Trust trail in idyllic Britain. Nothing wrong with bullfighting provided we eat the meat afterwards, & I hope the Spanish do.

  • Comment number 80.

    YES! It definitely SHOULD be banned!! It is a dreadfully barbaric thing to do and it's about time Spain woke up and realised it! Just because it is 'tradition' is NO excuse whatsoever! Once they ban this they can then ban the bull street run....

  • Comment number 81.

    Ban it now. Mindless killing should not be excused because is country`s culture. UK used to burn witches, should we have reatined that culture?All this nationalist nonsense should be meaningless in the 21st century. Countries are just bits of rock that we happen to give names to. We all live on planet Earth and should have shared values. Being cruel to animals is barbaric savegry. Ban bull fighting immediately.

  • Comment number 82.

    This is an internal Spanish debate and none of our business. When America gets bored with picking fights with every other country for any bizarre reason, maybe they will turn their attention to Spain for this barbaric sport. At that point, we will do our ususal lapdog trick and bark with them!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Leave it to the Spaniards to decide. In other words, keep the BBC out of the Spaniards' business.

  • Comment number 84.

    In theory and in practice, human civilization has and should have nothing to do with the gruesome practice of killing bulls for entertainment as well as with any other form of cruelty towards animals.

  • Comment number 85.

    Countries should be allowed to make their own decisions to animal rights and protecting their traditions.
    However the hypocrisy of many people is unbelievable and shows the times we live in. We are so removed from the production of our food that it bears no impact to the way we run our lives. Next time you are eating a burger spare a thought for the cow that went into making it. Very short life and in may cases never see's the light of day. The bull in the ring has a much better life, runs free and has a chance to go out with a bang. Talk about bullfighting being cruel – given the choice I know what life I'd pick!

  • Comment number 86.

    There is a difference between bullfighting and normal hunting. The point of normal hunting is to kill the animal as quickly as possible, normally with a shotgun (in the case of wild boar, game, etc...)

    Bull fighting, as with fox hunting, has its thrill in the chase; in the case of bulls, the more 'hits' on the bull without killing it the better, before a final clean killing blow is dealt.

    In both cases, the animal invariably suffers far more than if it were simply shot.

    Most Spanish people I know have never been to, nor agree with, the corrida. As the article says, this is a tradition that has for many years been supported by tourists who think they are seeing the real Spain, whereas in fact they are witnessing an archaic, cruel and dangerous sport.

  • Comment number 87.

    Who cares...its a fantastic spectacle.

  • Comment number 88.

    To those banguing on about 'it's a Spanish decision' - of course this is Spain's decision, nobody is arguing against that!

    However, we are still allowed to express an opinion on the ban.

    Animal rights are surely universal and I believe this goes against basic animal rights. (Killing animals for food, different subject, different discussion).

    Are there any laws against animal cruelty in Spain?

  • Comment number 89.

    Absolutely - it should be banned. And although it could be viewed as being a decision for Spain, I think we should all keep the pressure on until it happens. Don't agreee with the first comment, it won't die will die out as fast as they can make it die out...
    Legislation is the only real way to ensure that it is stopped...
    Don't make the mistake of what we did with Fox hunting which is to make the most obvious loopholes available to those that wanted to get round the law. Get rid of it completely and as soon as possible.

  • Comment number 90.

    '4. At 09:55am on 28 Jul 2010, krokodil wrote:
    At least their proposed ban is not based on the thinly disguised class war notions that did for hunting in britain. Its a spanish decision for them to make at the end of the day.'

    Krokodil, stop living in the past, as far as I can tell, there's only 2 classes in the UK, Upper Classes, such as Royalty, Lords etc and the rest of us. Going back a few years, my mum and dad were working class, but I do a middle class job, so what class am I then? Get real, the class system is dead, thankfully!

    To answer the main question:

    Yes it should be banned, along with all the torture and killing or ANY living creature we humans do for so-called fun, or thinly disquised (spelling?) research. As a race we're still barbaric.

  • Comment number 91.

    As usual all the prats who don't want anything killed ever no matter what are expressing their air head views.

    180k signatures and they banned it? You could get 180k signatures on pretty much anything. This is so clearly about Catalonia sticking two fingers up to Madrid and nothing to do with the bulls. Much like the fox hunting ban here had nothing to do with the welfare of Mr Fox.

    Sadly, animal rights activists will use this in any way they can until suddenly a few years down the line you won't even be able to rid yourself of a rat infestation for fear of breaching the little things "rights".

  • Comment number 92.

    Bull fighting should be allowed but on equal terms. If the bull injures the matador, it should be allowed to survive and enjoy life. Also matadors shouldnt have weapons. That would be a much better "Sport".

    The spanish rig the bull fights so much in favour of the matadors its not really a sport more like horse racing.

    Why not outlaw fishing as well, is that not just as barbaric ?

  • Comment number 93.

    Having been on holiday to Spain a few times I feel it would be a shame if other parts of Spain follows suit. I appreciate that its rather non-PC for me to say so, but I have watched the colourful spectacle of Bullfighting a number of times and thoroughly enjoyed it. If the proposed ban represents public opinion amongst Catalans then that is up to them and we should respect that.

    Whether other parts of Spain chose to do the same is equally up to them, though I fear that the world would become a duller place if everyone was forced to lose their local traditions to comply with some faceless leftwing eurocrats idea of how we should all live.

  • Comment number 94.

    We do bullfights in Costa Rica.. super funny and still very challenging.. but without any physical negative effect on the animals.. a sight to be seen !

  • Comment number 95.

    bullfighting is an obscene, barbaric past time that should be outlawed. bulls are effectively being killed for entertainment. how can it be allowed to continue in this day and age?

  • Comment number 96.

    Well done Catalonia.

    I can't imagine neanderthals ever killing animals for entertainment.

  • Comment number 97.

    Saying "it's up to Spain" is wrong. The question is Should Bullfighting be banned, and I believe it should be - wherever it occurs.

    Cruelty doesn't become any less unpleasant just because it happens in another country.

  • Comment number 98.

    Bullfighting should be banned in Britain, because that's all the clout my
    vote can carry (and all I hope and expect it to have).

    Whether the rest of Spain will follow Catalonia's lead, should be up to the rest of Spain.

  • Comment number 99.

    Why are we asking such a stupid question,most countries in the world would do consider this as a sport but as a barbaric event which does little to enhance the reputation of Spain which would rise immeasurably in the eyes of the world if they showed humanity instead of the current,out of date, cruelty. There is so much in their culture to admire but this smears their reputation and causes many to avoid the country as a holiday destination.

  • Comment number 100.

    bullfighting is almost as vile, cruel and disgusting as religion.


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