Campaigners who offered the Balearic government their support today.

09-02-2016Pere Bota

The Balearic parliament today pledged to change the law on animal protection and to outlaw any form of event involving bulls as well to stop all forms of public financial assistance for bullfights.

The motion was brought by PSOE with the support of Més, Podemos and Gent per Formentera, while members of the campaign Mallorca Sense Sang (Majorca Without Blood) were present to hear the debate. In addition to moving towards a ban on bullfighting, the motion seeks to prohibit any type of event which causes an animal to suffer, while it calls on the national government to stop all forms of financial support and to remove declarations of being in the cultural or tourist interest as they pertain to the mistreatment of animals. Furthermore, the motion insists that national government approves measures in line with the United Nations' guidelines to prevent minors being witnesses to violence inflicted on bulls.

Opposing the motion calling for a ban on bullfighting were the Partido Popular and Ciudadanos (C's). These two parties' members abstained on the separate point in respect of the protection of animal rights. El Pi was in favour of this but abstained on the banning vote.

Silvia Cano of PSOE said that parliament had taken the first step in making the Balearics a little bit more civilised. For Més, Margalida Capellà described bullfighting as "macabre" and added that compassion needed to be shown to animals while humans should be ashamed. Another Més member, Patricia Font, referred to the saving of 30 million euros that would come from the elimination of European assistance to breeders of bulls for fighting.

A Podemos parliamentary deputy, Baltasar Picornell, said that the worst argument made by opponents of the motion related to the "freedom" that the right wing has traditionally used against progressive initiatives, such as gay marriage.

Miquel Jerez for the PP argued that bullfighting does not understand politics be it of the right or the left and said that there would be legal consequences if there is a ban as this would be in conflict with Article 149 of the Constitution regarding cultural heritage, as bullfighting has been defined.

The C's leader, Xavier Pericay, accused those who wanted to ban bullfighting of displaying "totalitarian interventionism". For him it is an issue of freedom, with a ban meaning a violation of the right to attend bullfights.

Guillermo Amengual, spokesperson for Mallorca Sense Sang, said that parliament's motion was historic and that, thanks to the support of parties in government, bullfighting would be a bad memory in only a few weeks time.

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Sean Dobson / Hace over 2 years

It's been a long time coming.

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