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No more bullfights in Catalonia, as struggle moves to Latin America
As 2012 sees a bullfight ban come into force in Spain’s Catalonia region, WSPA is now working to halt the cruel practice across Latin America. The hard-fought measure followed massive campaigning on a local scale by the PROU citizens’ platform, as well global efforts by WSPA and other organizations, and the 165,000 global WSPA supporters who gave their support for the ban. Perhaps most promisingly, Mexico City – the city where the most bulls are killed in the ring – is currently debating implementing a bullfight ban through a vote in its assembly. We are also working with local partners in the city of Medellin to encourage the public and politicians not to attend bullfights.

Battle against bullfighting gains ground
The international campaign against bullfighting gained momentum in South America in November, with the ‘cultural’ argument for bullfighting taking a battering. In Colombia, a groundbreaking decision by the nation’s senate resulted in the bullfights of the famous Feria de Cali carnival being denied cultural heritage status. Thanks to the efforts of WSPA member society Proteccion Animal Ecuador (PAE), bullfighting has been banned from television during the times that young people might be watching. PAE demanded that the country’s television commission enforce legislation prohibiting the broadcast of images of cruelty and violence from 6am to 9pm. Young people under 18 have also been banned from the bullrings of Guayaquil due to PAE’s efforts and Quito is likely to follow suit during the next season.

Last ever bullfight in Catalonia
After centuries of cruelty in the name of entertainment, Spain’s Catalonia region has held its last ever bullfight. Although the ban does not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2012, this cruel spectacle has ending in the region as the bullfighting season now draws to a close. WSPA’s supporters contributed to this unprecedented success for animal welfare: more than 140,000 people from across the globe stated their support for a ban, putting pressure on Members of the regional Parliament to end bullfighting. Catalonia was the second Spanish autonomous region to pass a ban on bullfighting (the first was the Canary Islands), although it was the first where a ban resulted from a public campaign.

Ricky Gervais Partners with WSPA to End Bullfighting
Today, actor, producer and writer Ricky Gervais has partnered with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to call for an end to the cruel practice of bullfighting, and urge tourists to stop supporting such brutality on their travels. And, despite the fact that a majority of Americans are aware that bullfighting causes unnecessary pain to animals, more than 6.2 million have been to a bullfight at some time in their lives. It sickens me to know that people still pay money to see an animal tortured to death. It’s amazing that there are fans of this so-called ‘sport’ across the world, from Spain to Latin America.

Anti- and pro-bullfighting groups go head to head in Europe
Update: As a result of last week's successful anti-bullfighting activity in the EU parliament, 95 MEPs signed the white model bull and over 1,000 parliament staff signed an anti-bullfighting petition. The European parliament in Brussels will be hosting lobbyists from both the pro- and anti-bullfighting movements this week, with WSPA and our For a Bullfighting-Free Europe alliance partners arguing that this cruel sport is a dying industry with serious financial problems. It is estimated that the European parliament currently pays a subsidy of 220 euros per animal to breeders of fighting bulls, which – along with local subsidies in the bullfighting countries – is keeping the industry alive.

Spanish state TV stops children from watching bullfights
51 years after the Spanish state television broadcaster TVE showed its first bullfight, it has announced that it will not show bullfighting while children are viewing. The move is a response to new regulations which call on broadcasters to avoid showing children both "behavior that is dangerous to their health" and "explicitly violent scenes". This admission that bullfighting is unsuitable for children suggests the state TV station has recognized the cruelty involved in this sport. It also reflects the findings of a recent Gallup poll which showed a significant shift in feelings amongst the Spanish people against this barbaric form of entertainment”.

Catalonia makes history by banning bullfights
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. 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. The ban in Catalonia will set an example in Spain for other regions to follow and make the cruelty of bullfighting history.

WSPA hands over 140,000 signatures to the Catalonian Parliament
Catalonia is poised to make history this week, as they vote on a decision that could result in a ban on bullfighting, and 140,000 supporters of animal welfare have signed a letter to the Members of the Catalonian Parliament telling them that they would like to see bullfighting banned. The signatures were collected through WSPA websites worldwide in support of the joint platform PROU, made up of several Catalonian citizens working for a ban on bullfighting in the region, that have presented this popular initiative (ILP) that will be voted in the Parliament on Wednesday, July 28th. Several prominent individuals and professional organizations have also spoken out in support of the Catalonian parliamentary process to protect bulls and prevent the immense suffering meted out to them in bullfights.

WSPA Cheers Bullring Closure Reports
WSPA is delighted by recent news reports that say the last bullring in Barcelona, Spain, is due to close, due to lack of public interest in the cruel spectator sport. Reports that La Monumental, the last operational bullring in Barcelona, is likely to close because its losing money every week is really great news for animal welfare. But WSPA and ADDA will continue to press the regional government to bring a legal end to bullfighting as soon as possible. An opinion poll recently carried out found that 82% of Catalonia people believe that bullfights are cruel and unjustified events. Catalonia is already the leading anti-bullfighting region of Spain, with local councils in several towns and cities, including Barcelona, having declared themselves opposed to the cruel sport.

Protest against the suffering of Spanish bulls
A public protest met the start of Catalonia's bullfighting season, which signals the slaughter of over a hundred bulls each year. Over 300 people from organizations including WSPA member society ADDA demonstrated outside Barcelona's last bullring in a protest organized by political party PACMA. The Monumental bullring is a relic – its waning popularity gives further weight to a 2007 Gallup poll that revealed that 80.7% of Catalans have no interest in bullfighting. Another petition presentation is planned for 2008 so please sign today and help us convince the Catalan parliament to ban this bloody sport and end the horrific suffering of so many animals.

Kenyan animal welfare network prevents showcase of cruelty
A Kenyan form of bullfighting, in which two bulls are encouraged to fight each other, was prevented from taking place in the capital Nairobi this month by the joint efforts of a network of animal welfare groups. The fights are not traditional in the Nairobi Province and are banned by Kenya’s animal welfare laws, but the organizers argued that bullfighting would encourage tourism and won the support of Kenya’s culture and tourism ministers. Even before fighting, which ends in serious injuries and even death, the bulls would be forced to endure a long journey from western Kenya, where the practice originates.

Haiti: A Six-Month Update
Thanks to the generous donations from WSPA supporters, our disaster management team – as part of the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) – has made great strides in providing disaster relief to the animals and people of Haiti during the past six months. Immediately following the disaster, our team worked closely with Haitian government officials, international agencies (such as the United Nations) and other NGOs to define the country’s most pressing animal-related problems, carry out treatments and develop a long-term plan for Haiti to better protect against future disasters. Thank you for your help in making these achievements possible – there is still a lot of work to be done, but we’re getting closer to improved animal welfare conditions and veterinary capacity in Haiti.

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