28 Jul 2010

Catalonia bans bullfighting

10:08 pm on 28 July 2010

The parliament of Catalonia has voted to ban bullfighting - the first region of mainland Spain to do so.

The vote took place as the result of a petition brought to parliament, signed by 180,000 people who say the practice is barbaric and outdated, the BBC reports.

Bullfight supporters insist that the corrida, as it is known, is an art form and an important tradition to preserve.

They also fear the vote could be the first of many in the country. The ban takes effect in January 2012.

In the vote on Wednesday, 68 backed a ban, 55 voted against and nine abstained.

Barcelona's main bullring is one of the oldest in Spain, but support for the bullfight has waned.

The vote was brought to the agenda by activists who argue it is cruel and unacceptable and say most spectators in Catalonia these days are tourists.