The Catalan Parliament officially ended the practice of bullfighting in the region yesterday, as it outlawed the centuries-old spectacle for the first time on mainland Catalonia.
The vote went 68 in favor and 55 against the ban was somewaht expected after Catalonia’s parliament accepted a petition by citizens last December to stop the tradition of bullfighting.
Nine members of parliament abstained from voting. The decision came in the midsts of a debate between animal activiststs concerned about the bull’s suffering and those who revered bullfighting. Before the parliament vote took place, animal rights activitists, one drenched in red paint, and bullfighting aficionados were gathered outside the parliament to hear the result.
Those who voted to keep the tradition alive cited Spain’s ongoing economic crisis as a major consideration to keep bullfighting alive.
Rafael Luna, a member of parliament for the conservative Popular Party said during the debate that, “Banning bullfighting at a time of economic crisis is madness.”
The bullfighting is considered one of the top tourist attractions in Spain.