Residents of Muro and anti-bullfighting protesters have frequently exchanged words. | M. Serra


The Sant Joan fiestas in Muro have long been the context for the bullfight. More than any other municipality in Majorca, Muro is supportive of bullfighting. Some years ago, the town hall made a declaration to that effect.

With the fiestas less than a month away, no bullfighting promoter has stepped forward and sought permission to stage the traditional event at the Monumental, the bullring that the town hall acquired in 2010. Mayor Martí Fornés confirms that there has been no approach. This isn't surprising. The Balearics "bulls law" hasn't banned bullfighting as such, but it has made the staging of bullfights nigh on impossible because of various provisions and requirements in the legislation. One of these measures is that bulls cannot be killed.

It is said that support for bullfighting has dwindled, even in what is one of the last remaining bastions. Protests have occurred regularly, but they have never been well attended. Residents in favour have shown their contempt for the animal-rights lobbies. The small numbers of protesters may, however, have had something to do with pressure not to display public opposition. Social, employment and business factors have dissuaded this.

Now, however, there is no need for protest. The Sant Joan bullfight is not happening, and it is probably no more.