Some Spaniards fear tourism drop in Catalonia's bullfighting ban

An anti-bullfight protestor holds up a sign that reads "Bullfight abolition" in Madrid.

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The Spanish province of Catalonia has voted
to ban bull fighting, saying its barbaric and dangerous. It's become the first region of mainland Spain to do so. But bullfight supporters say the sport is a vital tourist attraction and moneymaker. From Barcelona, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford reports.


Sarah Rainsford: Barcelona's main bullring is one of the oldest in Spain. But support for the bullfight, or Corrida, has waned. Now the regional parliament has decided to ban the practice. Supporters say the Corrida is an art form and that its ban could threaten the livelihood of thousands of people. But activists argue the practice is cruel and unacceptable and say most spectators in Catalonia these days are tourists.

This animal rights activist says bullfighting is outdated and will eventually disappear altogether:

Animal Rights Activist: Ii think we will see it. We will see it within our lifetime. One community after another will accept that bullfights are barbaric and have no place in a moral and ethical society.

Whilst the official debate is over animal rights, many see this as a political move by Catalan nationalists to reject one of Spain's best-known traditions

And pro-bullfighting groups fear that a ban here could spark a wave of similar campaigns across the country.

In Barcelona, I'm the BBC's Sarah Rainsford for Marketplace.

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