Reported by TIME,
It's been a long time coming, but on Wednesday, Catalonia took a historic step. With 68 votes in favor and 55 against, the Catalan parliament approved a measure that will make bullfighting illegal throughout the region.
The vote, which will make Catalonia the first region in mainland Spain to ban a tradition still referred to as the "national fiesta," was the result of a popular initiative, launched by an association called Prou! (Catalan for Enough!) and first admitted to parliament in November 2008. In addition to banning the centuries-old sport (or art, depending on your perspective), it provides for the indemnification of those businesses — the bullring impresarios and seamstresses who specialize in capes — whose financial well-being will suffer from the ban.
Statement from PROU
Barcelona, Members of the Platform PROU, formed by animal protection activists who presented the ILP (Initiative Legislative Popular) to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia (Spain), gave a press conference just after the positive result in the voting in the plenary meeting of the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona that amended the current animal protection legislation to ban bullfighting.How can decent human beings torment and torture an animal for fun and maintain their right to continue doing so because of tradition?
During the press conference they showed their satisfaction for the result of the vote “fruit of a political class that represents the view of most Catalan people”; the activists also mentioned the other positive achievements obtained during the course of the campaign, such as “ the Catalan animal protection movement has efficiently worked together for a common cause; mobilizing more than one thousand activists for PROU’s campaign has been a positive experience, and gathering more than 180,000 signatures in favour of animals and against their suffering has been very important”, all facts that helped to achieve this abolition.
Regarding the legitimacy of this ban in Catalonia, Plataforma PROU has stated “The campaign to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia has taken the last step towards its necessary legitimacy: the legitimacy necessary to stop these bloody practices. The popular legitimacy, massively supported by a society which rejects these spectacles; the constitutional and statutory legitimacy, thanks to the positive report of the Council of Statutory Guarantees; and now, finally, the legislative and political legitimacy, thanks to today’s overwhelmingly favourable vote.”
To finish, they declared that “It is not a matter of whimsical prohibitions or of stomping on people’s individual freedoms. It is a matter of suffering. Clearly, waiting is not an option, since while we wait there are animals that suffer unnecessarily. Bullfighting in all its forms is strongly subsidized by public money, and while that continues its unstoppable end will be delayed for decades; this must be avoided.”