(ANIMAL NEWS/BULLFIGHTING) While many consider bullfighting a Spanish tradition, similar events called “La Corrida” are also quite popular throughout southern France. However, thanks to pressure from animal activists, France has finally removed the blood sport from its cultural heritage list.
Although some maintain the ruling will have no impact on bullfighting in France, activists believe the country is one step closer to the end of the barbaric tradition. Read on to learn more about France’s decision and share your thoughts in the comments below. — Global Animal
The Telegraph, Henry Samuel
Animal rights campaigners in France cried victory on Friday after a court ruled that bullfighting should be taken off a national cultural heritage list.
“La Corrida”, French for bullfighting, is permitted in France in areas where it has long been a tradition, such as the southwestern towns of Nimes and Béziers.
In 2011, France decided to add the tradition to its “intangible heritage list”, along with tarte tatin and Basque shepherd songs.
The culture ministry later removed bullfighting from the list, but animal welfare and anti-bullfighting organisations said this was not definitive enough and took the case to court.
An appeals court threw the case out in 2013, but Paris’ administrative appeals court on Friday overturned that decision, saying bullfighting could be considered well and truly “off the list”.
Roger Lahaha, vice president of the animal rights group CRAC Europe, one of the plaintiffs, dubbed the decision “an immense victory”.
“It is one more step towards the abolition of a barbarism that belongs to another age,” he told France’s Huffington Post.
It is unlikely that bullfighting will be banned soon in France, where one of its most vocal supporters is Manuel Valls, the Spanish-born prime minister.Spain recently gave bullfighting special protected status.
In 2012, Mr Valls backed the tradition whole-heartedly, saying: “It’s a culture that we have to preserve. We need these roots, we should not tear them out.”
Guillaume François, a lawyer for the French bullfighters’ union, said the ruling will have “absolutely no impact on bullfighting in France”, which is legal thanks to a clause in the penal code authorising it in 11 départements, or counties.
He said the union would appeal the latest ruling with the Council of State, France’s highest court.