Bullfighting to remain legal in France
Bullfighting is a sport which has been etched in controversy for many years, with the activity outlawed in some areas of Europe but highly enjoyed in others.
The latest chapter in the sport’s chequered history came this week when France’s Constitutional Council rejected calls from animal rights campaigners to ban bullfighting across the country.
Those who argued against the activity taking place underlined that fights should be categorised as cruelty to animals.
However, judges at the top legal authority declared that the ‘traditional’ fights which take place “do not harm people’s protected constitutional rights”. These bouts are seen across southern France.
Due to the decision, people in the process of moving to France can still head along to places such as Nimes and Arles and be part of the crowd watching a conventional bullfighting contest.
The choice to allow bullfighting to remain continues a tradition that took root in France around a century and a half ago, though the sport’s origins have to be traced back to neighbouring Spain.
However, parts of the latter country look to have begun to turn their back on the activity recently. This is highlighted by a ban on bullfighting coming into force in Spain’s Catalonia region earlier this year.
It marks the first time that bullfighting has been deemed illegal anywhere across the nation’s mainland throughout its long and rich history.
Fights are also banned in some parts of France, but there is a split opinion on whether or not this should be spread nationwide. For example, an opinion poll reported on by BBC news correspondent Christian Fraser found that only 48 per cent of French citizens would be in favour of a total ban on the sport.
Fellow BBC correspondent Tom Burridge summed up the attitude surrounding bullfighting, at least in Spain, by stating: “For those cheering in the stadium, waving their white scarves in approval after the first kill, it is a risk-ridden sport and the ultimate act of bravado.
“For others in Spain and abroad it is simply cruel.”
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