Barcelona May Ban
by Sherry Morse
Public opinion in Barcelona has turned against
the ancient sport of bullfighting; there is now talk of a
ban on bullfighting by the city council.
Talk of the ban has been ongoing in the parliament
of Catalonia, the region of Spain that includes Barcelona,
The parliament has already prohibited children
under fourteen from attending bullfights, and several towns
in the region have halted bullfights as well.
Opponents of bullfighting say that the slaughter
of over 100 bulls each year for public entertainment is incompatible
with Barcelona's ambition to become one of the world's leading
centers of arts and culture.
Animal welfare groups, including the World
Society for the Protection of Animals and the Associacion
Defensa Derechos Animal, would like to see the sport banned
by the end of this year to avoid tainting the Universal Forum
of Culture festival, which Barcelona will be hosting in 2004.
The festival will focus on cultural diversity,
sustainable development and peace.
The two groups hope to add culture without
cruelty to those themes.
One Barcelona politician, who supports the
ban, said, "We are forging our own, distinctly Catalan identity
based not on the outdated public slaughter of animals but
on the arts, music and architecture."
But not everyone displayed such an enlightened
attitude. German Jimenez of the Catalan Bullfighting Federation
stated, "Bullfighting is an art form and a vital part of our
history and culture."
Jimenez predicted that thousands of bullfighting
supporters would protest if a ban was brought up for a vote
by the city council. Only four bullrings exist in Catalonia,
with just one of those being in Barcelona.
© 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.