Controversial return of bullfighting to Mallorca

It had been two years since Mallorca had organized a bullfight. Friday, August 9, nearly 11,000 people came to attend this premiere. At the same time, several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the bullring in Palma against the return of a practice described as " torture ".

Passed in 2017 by the parliament of the Balearic Islands, the law prohibiting the killing of the bull was canceled in December 2018 by the Constitutional Court. The ban on harming the animal is considered to be an attack on Spain's “intangible cultural heritage”.

Bullfighting in the Spanish Constitution

It is not the first time that the Constitutional Court annuls a regional law aimed at prohibiting or limiting bullfighting. In 2016, Catalonia had already paid the price, while it had abolished its practice for six years.

The victory of the supporters of bullfighting is however only in halftone, since"there has been no bullfighting in Catalonia since its abolition"assures Roger Lahana, president of the association No bullfighting, and secretary general of the Federation of struggles for the abolition of bullfighting. “The Catalans don't want it. Nobody is ready to organize it, and the biggest arenas that were in Barcelona have been transformed into a shopping center,” he continues.

Bullfighting is increasingly divisive in Spain. “We are convinced that the end of bullfighting is already here and that these are the last moments of this dying spectacle”said this Friday at the BBC Francisco Vasquez Neria, from Anima Naturalis, the animal defense organization in Spain and Latin America.

A fading tradition

Bullfighting has in fact recorded a clear decline. The Ministry of Culture notes that bullfighting shows have shrunk by 16% in four years and have lost almost a fifth of their audience in less than ten years, while, paradoxically, the number of professionals is increasing.

“There is a growing awareness among people about the suffering that this represents for the animal. thinks Roger Lahana. " The bullfighting economy is extremely fragile in small towns. Many have stopped organizing them because they were in deficit. »

Only the Canary Islands, an autonomous community of Spain, have banned bullfighting. But the debate is gaining ground. During the last regional elections in Andalusia, the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, proposed a referendum to abolish it.

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