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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 April, 2004, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Should Spain ban bull fighting?
Bull fight
Barcelona has voted to ban bullfighting, after a big campaign by animal rights groups.

Nearly 250,000 people signed a petition calling for abolition in Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital.

The regional government must now approve the ban, the first of its kind in Spain, for it to become law.

The decision reflects the feeling that the sport is incompatible with the city's cosmopolitan image, but supporters have threatened to take to the streets in protest.

Do you think bull fighting should be banned? Or should it be preserved as a national pastime? Send us your views.


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received so far:

This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

Well done brave Catalonia
Sheila, Devon/UK
Yes, yes, yes! This is the very best news. Well done brave Catalonia; this decision is sure to be controversial within Spain but it shows courage and humanity. I just hope that we British will follow the Spanish lead and rid ourselves of our own dreadfully cruel blood "sports".
Sheila, Devon/UK

Surely it's up to the people in Spain to decide what they do and how they live? Let's ban fox hunting, deer hunting, hare coursing and all the barbaric mistreatment of animals in our own country before we start telling other people how to behave in theirs.
Fletcher, Poole, UK

The words of Mahatma Gandhi comes to mind - the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals.
Noor, Canada

Bull fighting is a Spanish tradition. Traditions should always be maintained, it is part of the beauty of the world. If you don't like bullfighting, you don't go to see the bull fights. But no-one has any moral right to ban such a thing.
Nick, Paris, France

Where exactly is the fighting? I have seen it. It should be called bull killing.
Xavier, Paris, France

How can anyone justify cruelty in the name of "culture" or "tradition"?
Jill, Zurich
I'm shocked at some of the ignorant comments here. How can anyone justify cruelty in the name of "culture" or "tradition"? Well done Barcelona for banning it!
Jill, Zurich

How about we mind our own business, or better still ask the Spanish to whinge about things they don't approve of in Britain?
Helen, Bradford, UK

I don't get it - people are complaining about outsiders commenting on the issue, and saying 'how dare they take away the Spanish culture' etc.. but it's Spaniards themselves who have voted on the issue - why are we not allowed to comment?
Alex Clark, London, UK

Bit by bit anything that is done differently in any country is slowly being stopped until...we are all the same. Why don't we have done with it and just start cloning the correct sort of people?
Mags, Oxford, UK

I fail to see where the enjoyment is to watch an animal die. This "tradition" is one of the reasons I, or my family, have not and never will visit Spain.
LR, Wales

Hundreds of years of tradition wiped out because of trendy, shallow causes
Mark A, Manchester, UK
Spaniards keep telling us that it's art and tradition. So what? Why is that more important than needlessly inflicting suffering on animals? Slavery, female genital mutilation, and stoning are traditions in some places too. Does that make them ok?
Peter Nelson, Boston, USA

Why now? Pathetic! I see this as another attack on cultural identity in Europe, not anything to do with preserving the rights of animals. Hundreds of years of tradition wiped out because of trendy, shallow causes. It won't be long before fishing is outlawed as it disrespects the feelings of fish.
Mark A, Manchester, UK

I am against bullfighting. I just wish that the US citizens who consider it as a barbarian act, think the same about human death penalty still going on in their own countries.
Jose, Barcelona, Spain

Let's see an end to worldwide sports involving suffering to animals
Mike Thomson, Israel

Killing is part of the natural order. I've seen cockfights here in the Philippines and quite enjoyed them. The animals are well treated, and the fight's fair. Make them more humane, but let them go on.
Eric, Manila

Why do foreigners always like to attack something different to them? In my country we also have the proud Spanish tradition of bullfighting. It is only a historical tradition that is a major identity in the history and culture of the Hispanic world.
Alvaro Roque Perez, Mexico City, Mexico

Whoopie - What an unexpected and wonderful result for Spain and for a part of the animal kingdom. Come on, let's see an end to worldwide sports involving suffering to animals.
Mike Thomson, Israel

Not a week passes without "Have your say" debating a ban on something or other. Why is everyone so keen to see the way they live their lives dictated by the state ? Bull fighting may be undesirable but I support the stand made against state interference.
Dave, Sheffield, England

I wonder if all those people that object eat beef or wear leather goods. Cattle are raised, transported and killed in appalling conditions, so is this any better ?
Douglas, Glasgow

When England bites the bullet and bans hunting with hounds the UK can offer Spain advice, until then its best we stay quiet.
Gerry, Scotland

How dare outsiders question the validity of a centuries old sport in Spain? Because they can see that it is barbaric!
Jim, UK

Bullfighting is not a sport, for us it is culture
Joaquín, Barcelona, Spain
Banning is not the right way to stop bullfighting. It would be better to show people animal rights.
Pedro, Madrid, Spain

Whist I agree that bullfighting is a cruel sport, I must say that banning it doesn't necessarily mean it will stop. Dogfights and cockfighting still have a massive underground following despite being illegal, so I'm sure bullfighting will find a way to continue, banned or not.
Kaye, Leeds, UK

When we ban the killing of civilians around the world (Iraq, Palestine, Africa etc) then I will support the ban of bull fighting. Some people value the life of an animal more than the life of a human.
Theo, Uxbridge,UK

Reading the comments I was amazed with the little degree of knowledge shown on the subject. Bullfighting is not a sport, for us it is culture. It is art. 22 fellows kicking a ball up and down a pitch is sport. A single man confronting a 600kg beast, bred to kill, risking his life for honour and recognition is art. If you haven't been there, if you haven't felt overwhelmed watching this combat between life and death, don't speak so quickly and happily about it.
Joaquín, Barcelona, Spain

Let's hope the Spanish government can do the right thing and ban this vile sport
Andy, London UK

Let's hope the Spanish government can do the right thing and ban this vile sport. Then hopefully our government might do the same for hunting with hounds.
Andy, London UK

Yes! There used to be a tradition here in Scotland of public execution. Shall we bring back barbaric practices just because they are 'tradition'?
Leigh, Edinburgh

How dare outsiders question the validity of a centuries old sport in Spain? Talk about arrogance. Part of appreciating the differences in our world is respecting customs, cultures and sports of other countries. Where is the tolerance now? Simply because a bunch of new age hippies deem bull fighting as un-pc, doesn't mean that Spaniards are not entitled to this pastime. How dare non-Spaniards condemn this cultural institution.
Beth, Burke, VA USA

I understand that is a cruel event, but its very old tradition. There are so many other things should be banned before this.
Attila, Canada

Tradition shouldn't be a point in whether it's kept or not
Tracey, London

Tradition shouldn't be a point in whether it's kept or not. Times change and a sport which causes harm to animal or people should be banned. Foxhunting included.
Tracey, London

Tradition or not this sport is barbaric and has no place in the modern world. Lets see this enlightened view extend to fox hunting, whale and seal culling etc.
David Craggs, UK

Perhaps we should not ban the "sport" but not drug and stab the bulls before hand. Lets see how the matador likes a real bull for a change.
Robert Sutton, Halifax, England

I think it is wonderful if Barcelona stop bull fighting. Then I want the murder of 400,000 seal pups in Canada stopped.
DL, Manchester

Barcelona leading the way in animal rights. Once again UK is seen lagging in humane advancement.
Graham, UK

They could adopt the Portuguese style which is much more humane
Jeremy, Regina, Canada

Bullfighting need not be banned outright. They could adopt the Portuguese style which is much more humane.
Jeremy, Regina, Canada

Yes, it is wonderful that Spain is considering stopping the hideous slaughter of these innocent creatures. It is a practice as barbaric as the Romans were to its slaves.
Kevin Pinzone, New York, USA

Thousands of cattle die in commercial slaughterhouses every day having been fed on chemicals, deprived of light and freedom. "We" conveniently ignore this fact. We could go and watch but choose not to. We accept that it happens because some people like to eat beef. There is no difference with bullfighting. If you don't want to watch, don't go. Simple. Please don't be so arrogant and hypocritical that you think you have the right to tell other people what to do.
John , Canary Islands, Spain

Although I know it's an old tradition in Spain, I think it's very cruel
Graciela, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I'm an outsider, of course, but I feel impelled to give my opinion on this subject. I vote to ban bull fighting. Although I know it's an old tradition in Spain, I think it's very cruel; even though many bull-fighters have died or been badly injured the bull always dies. I've had the opportunity to see bull fighting in TV. and I couldn't bear to see the poor animal bleeding. I think Spaniards should find another way to enjoy life.
Graciela, Buenos Aires, Argentina

It would be a tragedy to further homogenise our world by eliminating a spectacular sport from the map of Spanish tradition. Surely it is more savage to slaughter men in a war, let's ban wars first!
Benjamin, Panama

Is this a question? Of course it should be banned
Raul, Ft. Lauderdale, USA

Is this a question? Of course it should be banned.
Raul, Ft. Lauderdale, USA

Hurrah!!!!
Thomas, Geneva Switzerland

What kind of a country would have a national pastime that involves dressing up like Liberace and stabbing a confused farm animal to death?
Nathaniel, Houston, USA

Afghanistan used to have a national past time of playing polo with the heads of dead enemy soldiers. Even they know when times change and that such things should be placed as they are, a past of history.
Edd, UK

The Spanish cities are beautiful, especially Barcelona with its architecture and "La Rambla", it doesn't need bullfighting to attract tourists.
Ítalo Cavalcanti, Fortaleza, Brazil

The times where bullfighting was "relevant" are over. There is so much senseless violence in this world, is it really necessary to violate animals as well for the sake of our entertainment? I think not.
Billy, Toronto, Canada

Absolutely. Well done Catalonia.
Malcolm, UK

Yes, and the UK should ban fox hunting. Both are excessively cruel to animals. It matters not if its cultural.
Ettenuahs, Swindon, UK

Bull fighting is as barbaric as fox hunting
Raluca, Brit in the States

Bull fighting is as barbaric as fox hunting. What pleasure can we, humans, derive from not only seeing but also making an animal suffer?!
Raluca, Brit in the States

Bullfighting is part of the Spanish culture. To abolish it washes away a part of a nation's identity.
Chris Gonzales, Orlando, FL USA

I hope they ban it. There is no doubt that the death is, to borrow from the US Constitution, "cruel and unusual." However this is a question for Spanish people to decide.
Jonathan Michaud, Buffalo, New York USA

Bull fighting is, as football is to Britain, a part of Spanish culture and heritage. People are complaining the world over that culture is being destroyed, so outright banning it is surely not going to help the situation!
Richard, Winchester, UK

Yes, FINALLY!!!!! It is a revolting "sport", a blood spectacle, and cruel in the extreme. Just as we have a "gun" culture as a national shame, Spain has this barbarity. How is this permitted in an EU member state? Kudos to the Spaniards that supported the ban.
PM, NY,US

Abusing animals can never be an acceptable pastime for a civilised society.
John M, Lyne Meads, UK




VOTE RESULTS
Should bull fighting be banned?
Yes
66%
No
33%
1109 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed


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