When the international press covers bullfighting it is usually sad news. They run slide shows depicting horrible killing scenes in the arena, cruel fiestas such as the Toro de la Vega or the announcement of the Spanish Government giving bullfighting a cultural status.
Not this time. The bullfighting season in Barcelona ended on Sunday and with it the the gruesome spectacle altogether. In July 2010 the Catalan Parliament voted in favour of bullfight ban which comes into for on 1 January 2012.
Some quotes from the papers.
Fiona Govan writes in the Telegraph that the number of people attending bullfights has been in decline for a long time in Catalonia. Organisers struggled to fill a third of the seats and make a living from the ticket sale.
Alice Tozer for news agency Reuters also looks at the economic future for the corrida in Spain:
Its popularity is dwindling in Spain, although it retains loyal followings in Andalusia, Madrid, the Basque country and some other parts of the country as well as southwest France. Corridas are increasingly poorly attended and Spain’s severe economic problems have also hit the industry.
While Charles Tremlett in the Guardian started off monumentally: “It was the end of more than 600 years of history. On Sunday evening, amid the cheers of fans and the bloody death throes of fighting bulls, Barcelona hosted its last-ever bullfight.”
Looking at the political arguments for the ban, the BBC‘s Sarah Rainsford stressed that “dwindling support is one reason the regional parliament voted in favour of banning the corrida […] [and] there is also a growing awareness of animal rights and, crucially, the desire of Catalan nationalists to distinguish the region from the rest of Spain and its traditions.”
Barcelona will survive the ban, in fact, I am certain, it will profit from it. Just look at Las Arenas, the former bull ring at Place d’Espagna that is now a stunning shopping mall designed by British architect Richard Rogers.
In closing and wanted to reply to Carlos Nunez, president of the Mesa del Toro, and others who see their civil liberties infringed by the ban. There is no right to kill animals for fun. It is as simple as that.