The Constitutional Court ruling means Balearic legislation will need rethinking.

28-07-2016Miquel A. Cañellas

The Constitutional Court has annulled the article in Catalonia law that prohibits bullfighting. Eight of the eleven-member tribunal agreed that the prohibition encroached the powers of the state in having declared the "national fiesta" cultural heritage.

The court established that Catalonia has jurisdiction to regulate public shows and to protect animals. In these respects, the Catalonia law is not unconstitutional. Powers for shows could therefore include the prohibition of bullfighting in order to protect animals. However, this must take into account the fact that the state has declared the bullfight cultural heritage. For this reason, the court decided that Catalonia had invaded state powers for cultural matters.

The court's decision had been expected to go the way it has. It does therefore have to be taken into account by the Balearic parliament. At the meeting of party spokespeople on Wednesday, it was decided to freeze legislation to ban bullfighting.

David Abril reiterated a point he had made several days previously, which was to proceed with "prudence", given the likelihood that the court would make the ruling it has. He stressed that Més were nonetheless committed to banning events that involve the torture of animals.

Laura Camargo of Podemos restated the point she had previously made, which was that she didn't believe Balearic law would clash with the court's ruling. She has suggested a change in the wording of the law that would avoid reference to bullfights and instead specify "shows with bulls which result in the death of the animal".

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