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Good news from Colombia. The Mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, has shown his support for the banning of bullfighting in the region by starting the process of closing the city’s bullring.
Last year as part of a communications campaign WSPA persuaded Petro and the other mayoral candidates to take a strong position on animal welfare issues. Now he has been elected he is keen to change the use of the city’s bullring, La Santamaría, and instead use the arena for educational and artistic activities. Last January he also announced no funding for the 2012 bullfighting season.
The official statement by the government announcing the termination of the contract signed with the bullfighting corporation says: "Bullfights are linked to activities that can be considered torture, inflicting pain and violence on the animals and causing them to die. The policy in Bogotá is to protect animals from cruel treatments.” According to previous surveys, most people in Bogotá support an end to bullfighting as it is considered an act of cruelty.
“Cruel traditions must be revaluated. We want to see that arena filled with poets and writers as the mayor says and to avoid the torture inflicted on tens of bulls every year in La Santamaría”, said Luis Carlos Sarmiento, WSPA director for South America. “Bogotá may set an example in the region, leading the way for the countries interested in bullfighting toward a modern culture with no cruelty and with respect toward all life forms,” he concluded.
There was a demonstration on 25th June outside the mayor’s office which WSPA supported to back the mayor in his ongoing stance against bullfighting in Bogotá.