Spain's government challenges 'bloodless bullfighting' law


PALMA BULLRING: Could be bloodstained again.

THE Spanish government will launch an appeal against the bloodless bullfighting law that took effect in Mallorca this summer.

Madrid has announced its intention to appeal certain sections of the law, which expressly forbids the killing of bulls.

It is unclear which sections of the law the central government is unhappy with. But it has petitioned judges at the high court to temporarily suspend the law while the appeal process is underway.

This would make traditional bullfighting legal once again in the Balearics, barely four months after the law successfully passed through parliament.

The season is over but it is unknown how long the appeal process will last, or whether judges will suspend the law. Spokeswoman of the Balearic executive, Pilar Costa, said they had anticipated an appeal from Madrid.

It was not political interference, she said, but part of the democratic process. Nevertheless, the Balearic authorities “will defend this law before the courts,” she stated.

The basis of the government’s appeal is that the law, which permits bullfighting as a spectacle but imposes severe restrictions, undermines its competence to ensure all Spaniards can exercise their rights, and to protect Spain’s cultural heritage.

A Catalan law that banned bullfighting outright was struck down by the Constitutional Court in 2016. Judges ruled that the state had the responsibility to conserve and protect bullfighting as a cultural heritage.

The Balearic ban was designed to circumvent that reasoning by allowing a bloodless spectacle. Whether that has worked remains to be seen.

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