Back in 2010, the regional government of Catalonia imposed a controversial ban on bullfighting.
However, just last month Spain’s constitutional court overturned the ban, reports The Guardian.
Nine of the 12 judges ruled that ‘preservation of common cultural heritage’ was the responsibility of the state, and therefore the Catalan parliament had overstepped its authority.
The decision has prompted public outrage in Catalonia, with government officials saying they will work to make sure the ruling has no practical effect.
The Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, tweeted:
Barcelona has been an anti-bullfighting city since 2004. Whatever the court says, the Catalan capital will not allow animals to be mistreated.
Barcelona és ciutat antitaurina des de 2004. Digui el q digui el TC, farem complir les normatives que impedeixen el maltractament a animals
— Ada Colau (@AdaColau) October 20, 2016
In a written statement, Josep Rull, the Catalan minister for public works, said:
The constitutional court can decide what they want, but the government of Catalonia will make every effort for bullfights not to return to our country.
We want a country where it is not possible to make a public spectacle of death and suffering to an animal.
Although the ban has both popular and political support on the grounds of animal cruelty, critics insist it’s a move intended to distance Catalonia from the rest of Spain, paving the way for independence.
Esperanza Aguirre, former president of the Madrid region, tweeted:
Bulls return to Catalonia. Millions of Spanish and international fans celebrate the decision.
But even though bullfighting remains legal, it is declining in popularity – a recent online poll conducted by Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia found that 68 per cent still supported the ban.
For something with so little public support in the region, at the very least maybe it won’t be financially viable if they can’t draw a crowd…