Jul 28, 2010
Catalonia has made history today: the Catalonian Parliament has voted to approve the amendment of the current animal protection legislation and therefore ban bullfighting within the region. The ban will go into effect on January 1, 2012 and from that day bulls will no longer suffer a slow, painful and terrifying death in Catalonia’s bullrings.
Today’s vote is the culmination of years of hard work and campaigning by animal welfare groups all over the world. Prou has campaigned tirelessly for months to end the cruelty suffered by thousands of bulls in bullrings each year. Prou initiated the campaign with a popular legislative initiative that set the process in motion. It was brought before Catalonia's Parliament in December 2009 after more than 180,000 Catalonian citizens signed a petition demanding an end to bullfighting.
Today, 68 Catalonian MPs - the majority - voted in favor of the ban, agreeing with their citizens that this ‘traditional’ practice is ready to be consigned to history books.
At a press conference following the results of the debate and the vote in the Parliament, spokespeople from Prou stated that, “Today has been the day we were hoping for: the suffering of animals in the Catalonian bullrings has been abolished once and for all and by an absolute majority.”
“Catalonia is leading the way for bullfighting countries around the world to embrace a modern culture without cruelty,” said Dirk Jan Verdonk, Programs Manager at WSPA. “The vote today is a political acknowledgement that the people of Catalonia are ready for change and by voting as they did, Catalonia’s politicians have demonstrated their respect for the people’s desire to see bullfighting laid to rest.”
Since the first vote that started this process in 2009, WSPA has been collecting signatures from our supporters worldwide, resulting in over 85,000 petitions in support of Catalonia’s campaign to ban bullfighting. Ever since, pressure has been intensifying with an additional 25,000 supporters following Ricky Gervais’ appeal to his fans, asking them to support our campaign to urge a ban on bullfighting in Catalonia.
In the last 24 hours of our campaign, an additional 25,000 signatures were collected, and on July 26, WSPA representatives met with Ernest Benach, President of Catalonia’s parliament, to highlight how many people around the world are interested in seeing this practice banned.
A bullfighting ban in Catalonia is part of an emerging trend, as local authorities from around the world are outlawing this practice. Within Spain, the Canary Islands have already banned bullfighting, as have cities in Ecuador, Venezuela, France, Portugal and Colombia. The ban in Catalonia will set an example in Spain for other regions to follow and make the cruelty of bullfighting history.