After centuries of cruelty in the name of entertainment, Spain’s Catalonia region has held its last ever bullfight after a huge public campaign, mobilised by the citizen’s initiative ‘Prou’ (‘Enough’), contributed to a ban on bullfighting. Although the ban does not enter into effect until 1 January 2012, this cruel spectacle was the last in the region as the bullfighting season now draws to a close.
WSPA’s supporters contributed to this unprecedented success for animal welfare: over 140,000 people from across the globe stated their support for a ban, putting pressure on Members of the regional Parliament to end bullfighting.
The final ‘performances’ took place in Catalonia’s last functioning bullring, Monumental in Barcelona, on 25 September, and saw the slaughter of several bulls. The event was met by both pro and anti-bullfighting protests outside of the ring.
Little support for appeal
Bullfighting supporters are now attempting to gather signatures to have the practice declared as culturally important to Spain, and therefore worthy of state protection. However, it is estimated that there will not be nearly enough supporters to challenge the ban in Catalonia.
Catalonia was the second Spanish autonomous region to pass a ban after the Canary Islands, though this was the first where a ban resulted from a public campaign. The practice continues in other Spanish regions, Portugal, parts of France and several Latin American countries. In the latter, WSPA is also supporting local organisations in pressing for a ban.