Bullfighting to end in Catalonia from tonight

Ceri Roberts
Bull fighting to end in Catalonia from tonight
Bull fighting to end in Catalonia from tonight

Jose Plago/AFP/Getty

Tonight will see the last bullfight in Catalonia the northeastern region of Spain.

The event, which is the last fight scheduled this season, will take place at the 20,000-seat Monumental ring in Barcelona.

The popularity of the tradition of bullfighting has plunged in recent years and the Monumental is the last functioning ring in the region.

The Catalan Parliament banned bullfighting in July 2010 following a campaign by animal rights activists and the regional ban takes effect on January 1, 2012.

However the ban has caused uproar and triggered a nationwide debate.

Although the Monumental staged only around 15 fights a year, bullfighting supporters claim that the ban is an attack on the cultural heritage of Spain and are looking for ways to overturn the decision or make sure that the ban doesn't spread to other areas of Spain.

"Banning bullfighting in Catalonia is nothing more than an attack on Liberty," says Carlos Nunez, president of Spain's Mesa de Toro pro-bullfighting group. "It's the fruit of policies in Catalonia against bullfighting and all that is seen to represent Spain."

He is now seeking 500,000 signatures for a petition aimed to convince the Madrid national parliament that bullfighting should be given cultural heritage status.

Catalonia is the second of Spain's 17 regions to ban the spectacle of bullfighting but for the moment there are no signs that any other Spanish regions will follow suit.

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