After the July 2010 ban on bull fighting was adopted and set to become effective in January of 2012, this past Sunday marked the final bullfight to occur in Barcelona. This area of Spain (Catalonia) is only the second region in the country to ban the dangerous (yet highly traditional) sport, as the Canary Islands banned bullfighting in 1991.
The ban on bullfighting in Catalonia grew mainly out of animal cruelty concerns, yet many people who are unhappy with the ban believe that Catalan nationalism played a strong part in the vote, as Catalans desire to distinguish themselves from the rest of Spain and the country’s traditions. Bullfighting in Spain has been a tradition for hundreds of years, dating all the way back t0 1387, as the sport continues today throughout the rest of the country.
While those who support the ban claim that the time has come for Catalonia to modernize and recognize that such a barbaric practice can no longer be tolerated, those who oppose the ban cite that bullfighting is a vital “art form” that needs to be preserved. The ban’s opponents believe that the sport is so deeply rooted in tradition that the ban itself is an insult to Spanish history, as they also believe the ban is an infringement on civil liberties.
Did Catalonia make the correct choice by banning bullfighting? Should an activity like this, so deeply rooted in tradition, continue despite modern day concerns of animal welfare?
Additionally, was the ban enacted due to animal welfare considerations, or was it really just a “snub to Spain by independence-minded” Catalans? Does it matter either way?