Category Archives: News

Prou’s announcement

logo_prou_2The anti-bullfighting group, PROU, is pleased to hear the news about the parliamentary group Convergencia I Unió’s decision to withdraw an amendment presented to the annex to the Budget Law (Ley de acompañamiento de los presupuestos). This law would have legalised all types of bullfighting in Catalonia going against the law that prohibited it, Law 28/2010 dated August 3rd which had been previously approved through Popular Legislative Initiative.

Going beyond the underlying debate on animal suffering and the inappropriate image Catalonia would have after backtracking with this measure, The anti-bullfighting group PROU played an important role in detecting the questionable and underhanded parliamentary method used to process this amendment, an amendment that was never debated on (very much like the law itself) representing the very antithesis of citizen participation unlike the aforementioned law that was put to popular vote.

This measure was widely criticised by other entities within the Governing Board of the Barcelona Bar Association. Approving an amendment in this manner would have incurred a violation of constitutional rights, ignoring politician and voter participation. This cryptic and hasty mechanism would have revoked a law that had been approved through democratic voter participation.

Likewise, PROU would like to express their support for Convergencia groups’ intentions to regulate this issue and not revoke the law that we, Catalan society, are proud of (the abolition of bullfighting). Along these lines, PROU would like to propose the government extend the deadline for the affected bull-breeding ranches from Alfara de Carles so they can request economic compensation in accordance with Law 28/2010, but under no circumstances repeal the current law or allow it to be infringed.

At the same time, PROU is saddened to see that the PSC party (The Socialist Party of Catalonia) stubbornly continues to try and approve the modifying amendment with the full knowledge that it would unapologetically undermine the rights of voters and politicians.

As a result of this experience, PROU strongly believes that legal reforms must be made in order to prevent that a law that had previously been approved through democratic participative processes be repealed through questionable and shady law processing like “annex to the budget law“ In this fashion, the democratic and participative “health” in Catalonia would improve as would respect for democratic participative processes.

The Anti-bullfighting group PROU is taking action again!

The anti-bullfighting group, PROU, has come together again in an extraordinary meeting in order to begin action against Parliament’s intentions to regulate bullfights without the death of the bull, a sort of bullfighting called tientas.

–In this meeting it was agreed that we would meet with different political groups in order to make them aware of the deceit used by the bull-fighting bull breeder’s lobby in this process

 

PROU met last Saturday the 21st of June in an extraordinary meeting that had been urgently called at Ecocentre in Barcelona. Representatives from more than 40 Catalan animal protection organisations were present.

The aim of this meeting was to plan PROU Platform’s course of action against The Parliament of Catalonia’s Commission of Agriculture’s approval of a proposal that the government had requested for the regulation of bullfights without killing the animal, bullfights otherwise known as “tientas.” It had been presented by the PP (The People’s Party), PSC (The Socialist Party of Catalonia) and Ciudadanos (The Citizen’s Party) and was backed on the 4th of June by CiU (Convergence and Union Party), ERC (the Republican Left party), PSC, the PP and Ciudadanos parties. The ICV (Catalonian Green Party Intiative) abstained from voting and CUP (Candidacy for the People’s Unity), was not present.

These types of bullfights began to be illegally held in Terres de l’Ebre as shows for tourists after Law 28/2010 came into force on the 3rd of August of the same year. This law abolished bullfighting in Catalonia along with “any other type of bull shows taking place in or out of a bullring.” For this reason, the “tientas” were cancelled by judicial order last September 12th as a cautionary measure for infringing the animal protection law. At present, court proceedings are ongoing.

PROU’s Steps

PROU began to take action four years after the last general assembly in which the group was able to achieve the necessary consensus for the processing of the People’s Legislative Initiative (ILP) under which bullfighting was abolished in Catalonia.

La Plataforma, que es va dissoldre després d’aconseguir el seu objectiu el 28 de juliol de 2010, ha mantingut un comitè de vigilància per tal de controlar la correcta aplicació de la norma, i a la vegada evitar que guanyin els intents de recuperar les “corrides” al territori català.

The Platform became dissolved after achieving their objectives on July 29, 2010 and since then, has maintained a vigilance committee whose objective is to monitor the correct application of the law as well as make sure that any attempt to return bullfighting to Catalonia be repelled.

As a result of this meeting last Saturday, the anti-bullfighting group is now preparing its detailed final arguments explaining why the measure requested by Parliament should not be approved. In addition to this, we will explain the various legal reasons why this type of legislation should be prevented from being applied to these types of bullfights, and even after such reckless parliament approval.

The members of the assembly also agreed to meet with political groups in order to make them aware of the deceit the bull-breeder’s lobby has employed during this process. “Tientas” is an activity that is carried out in order to evaluate the bravery of the bulls which in reality are bullfights carried out by professional bullfighters for an audience that paid to be present at this type of show. In addition, these types of activities use the same elements that are used in standard bullfights like capes and barbed wooden spurs.

In a few weeks, PROU will inform every one of the conclusions drawn from these meetings with the different political parties. In the meantime, the PROU continues to work to keep bullfighting out Catalonia.

PROU summons Catalan society: Abolition, not one step backwards!

Anti-bullfighting proponents are taking measures to prevent the government from legalising the return of bullfighting to Catalonia

This Wednesday, 4th of June, Parliament’s Agriculture Commission approved the request for the government to regulate bullfights without blood, which are held by some bullbreeders in Terres de l’Ebre area as shows for tourists, otherwise known as “tientas.” The proposal which was presented by PSC, PP, Ciudanos and backed by CiU, ERC, PSC, PP and Ciudadanos with the ICV abstaining and CUP not being present.

These aforementioned shows in Terres de l’Ebre were cancelled by judicial order last September 12 as a cautionary measure for failing to abide by the animal protection law even though the judicial proceeding continues forward. As a reaction to Parliament’s decision, PROU has already began legal proceedings to impede these shows from being regulated which have been illegal since January 1, 2012 when Law 28/2010 came into force on the 3rd of August. This law prohibited bullfighting in Catalonia “or any other type of show using bulls taking place in or outside of a bullring.”

PROU’s reaction

Anti-bullfighting proponents were the ones who carried out the collection of more than 180,000 signatures from citizens illegalizing bullfights and is now making a call for all abolitionists in region of Catalonia to come forward for a popular and participative assembly to be held on June 21st in Barcelona. The objective of this meeting will be move Catalan society to action in order to prevent parliamentary members from attacking the dignity of Catalonia, a territory that is proud to be internationally recognised as a pioneer in animal protection thanks to the historic abolition of bullfighting.

Once this progressive jump has been made, PROU will appeal the Government by reminding them that the abolition of bullfighting was approved on June 28, 2010 by absolute majority by Parliament itself, with 68 votes in favour (from PP and Ciudanos as well as 7 from CiU and 31 from PSC) and with 9 abstention votes.

Leonardo Anselmi, one of the spokespersons for PROU, assures us, “Parliament can try all they want to ask the Government to regulate these sorts of shows, but under no circumstances will this happen because the government can’t break the law. Despite this (as a cautionary and preventative measure), we have been taking action and calling meetings for the movement and would like for all institutions, sectors and people to be informed so they can support us in this cause. ‘Tientas’ are not activities related to livestock and even if they were, they would be automatically prohibited by law because of the type of pain and abuse that is inflicted on the animal, abuse that is automatically banned by the law.”

Anna Mulà, a lawyer specialising in animal rights, clarified that “…the only way to legalise these activities –in reality, bullfights without blood which are banned by law,– would be to modify Article 6 of the Animal Protection Law in order to suppress prohibition.”

In addition, PROU has informed against the proposal approved by Parliament which tries to hide the reality of these activities which the bull breeders’ association tries to pass off as tests to evaluate the bull’s bravery but are in reality bullfights carried out by professional bullfighters for an audience that has paid to see this type of show. “The bull breeders as well as those in Parliament who are helping them are lying because the same elements that are used in bullfights are also used in “tientas,” like capes and barbed wooden spurs. In addition, the death of the bull is simulated with a sword,” says Anna Carbonell, coordinator for the group.

For the good of animals, society at large and Catalan dignity, the anti-bullfighting proponents group will exhaust every legal and social avenue to prevent bullfighting from coming back nor will the evolution for the respect for animals take one step backwards.

 

Plataforma Prou convoca: ASSEMBLEA URGENT

A general meeting will be held next Saturday the 21st of June in Barcelona in order to address the worrisome issue of the return of bullfighting to Catalonia, a decision made by parliament.

We therefore call all political and social abolitionists in the principality to participate in a popular assembly to be held at Ecocentre located in Barcelona (address C/Mallorca 330) on Saturday the 21st of June at 15.55. (We request everyone be punctual since there is another event scheduled at 18.00) with the objective of openly deciding (and with full participation) what steps should be taken in order to prevent parliamentary members from bringing shame on the Catalan people, people who were proud to have finally abolished bullfighting in Barcelona. This was undoubtedly a historical event and was heard about around the world.

For animals, society at large and Catalan dignity, the abolitionists group invites you to participate!

PROU anti-bullfighting proponents: We will explain what the Minister of Culture, Mr. Mascarell doesn’t seem to understand.

Here we will explain what Counselor of Culture, Mr. Mascarell has difficulty understanding:

In accordance with what was published in the newspaper El Periódico on Thursday August 1st, 2013 in the news line: “Mr. Mascarell has difficulty understanding why bullfighting is banned in filming” were the exact words used by the Minister of Culture for the Catalan Government, Mr. Ferrán Mascarell. The ban prevented real bulls from being used in filming in the former Barcelona bullring, Monumental, by the movie production company shooting a full-length feature film in the city called Gunman.

 

http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/ocio-y-cultura/mascarell-cuesta-entender-veto-taurino-2548109

PROU is astounded at the most recent statements made by different members of parliament (from Minister Pelegrí to Minister Santi Vila and now Minister Mascarell). In our efforts to not only defend the abolition of bullfighting in Catalonia (achieved through popular legislative vote), but also defend the integrity of the institution of democracy, an institution present in the Parliament of Catalonia and all the decisions made there democratically, we would like to explain to Minister Mascarell what he seems to have difficulties understanding:

The document approved on the 28th of July in 2010 by popular vote carried out in an exemplary manner thanks to the democratic processes in Catalonia is nothing less than a reflection of a culture that represents Catalans: a culture of respecting animals. In addition, this decision put Catalonia on the front page of numerous international newspapers and emphasized (unlike the Spanish press) the progressive advance in a society which repels the mistreatment of animals, abuse of the worst type for public viewing.

In 2004 Barcelona approved a motion declaring itself an Anti-bullfighting City, which finally came into effect on July 28, 2010. This is a law that reflects its citizens’ sentiments.

It is apparent that Barcelona is an attractive city for many reasons and these are why different movie producers from different countries come here to shoot their films. These films then become a reflection of our city to the world. Our idiosyncrasies should be reflected in these films and evidently, the characteristics of our culture. Bullfighting is no longer part of the Catalan reality and this is the people’s will.

Barcelona can’t and shouldn’t become a film set empty of content: there is a reason why this city is chosen by so many film companies. The essence of this city should not be corrupted because someone wrote a script that clings to old stereotypes instead of reality. It would have been better that whoever wrote the script for the film in question, Gunman, (as many of our professional contacts have confirmed) to have researched the city and its culture a bit more.

For all these reasons, Minister Mascarell, PROU believes that the Local Barcelona Government made the right decision to prevent these scenes from being shot. In addition, by-laws also impede them from being filmed although regretfully, these scenes will be shot in other cities outside of Catalonia. The scene with the bullfight that was meant to take place in Barcelona was in fact shot during the Fair of San Isidro in Madrid. These scenes will be added to the film, scenes which in no way reflect the reality of Catalonia, something which we would like to emphasize were included in a script that does not reflect the reality of this city.

PROU recogerá firmas para #PANyTOROS

Since the PROU group shares the same concerns as the group PanyToros.es, we hereby announce our total support of the People’s Legislative Initiative (2014) because we share their indignation over the government’s efforts to placate and economically help the bullfighting lobby. For this reason, we state:

For this reason, we declare:

  • We will not accept bullfighting being declared an activity “of cultural interest” and the implicit increase in public financing and subsidies to it. We hereby request an end to these types of subsidies and all other types of aid and other public services allocated to bullfighting.

  • We will not allow the Government exert their power on anything that has to do with animal welfare, culture or other types of shows within the Autonomous communities. We request that all power be restored to the communities, power that had been taken away as a result of this legislation being passed.

  • We will not accept the introduction of content in schools aimed at stifling and corrupting the empathy that children naturally feel towards animals. We request that bullfights not be aired on television during the time in which children normally watch television as well as banning bullfighting schools for minors under 18 and the admission of minors into these types of events or their participation in them.

  • Sign up to collect signatures at:

www.PANyTOROS.es

Friend” us on Facebook or “like” at:

www.facebook.com/PANyTOROS.es

 

Interior agrees with Prou

The Councillor of the Department of the Interior, Ramón Espadaler with responsibility for public entertainment, has issued a statement which confirms that the bullfighting activities that are taking place in Tarragona are illegal because they were included in the law banning bullfighting (and other spectacles related to bulls) in 2010. However, the Department of Agriculture, led by Councillor Josep Maria Pelegrí, with responsiblity for the protection of animals, did not confirm this statement when in fact he is responsible for the penalization of this activity for being in breach of the laws for the protection of animals and for being an activity that is excluded from the catalog of public entertainment. In addition, the investigation processed and resolved by the Department of Agriculture has ended with a resolution that is in dispute before the Court. For this reason, today we must continue to support the petition against the management of the Department of Agriculture on change.org in order to prevent the return of bullfighting to Catalonia.

Let’s keep bullfights from returning to Catalonia. SIGN for the REMOVAL of Josep Maria Pelegri.

The Anti-bullfighting Platform PROU, the group which achieved the abolition of bullfights in 2010, returns to the scene at the threat of bullfights returning to Catalonia.

– The Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing, Food and Natural Environment of the Generalitat, directed by Josep Maria Pelegri, aims to once more allow bullfights in Catalonia by endorsing bullfighting shows organized by bullfighters and breeders with bulls brought in from Salamanca and other parts of Spain. Such activity was strictly prohibited by the Catalonian Parliament on July 28, 2010. Bullfights may return to Catalonia, making Catalonia lose face in international public opinion.

– Sign to demand the REMOVAL of the Secretary Josep Maria Pelegri.

– Animal rights and ecologist groups consider his term the worst in history. Find out more about his animal “protection” and environmental policies in the following link: http://www.prou.cat/documents/proteccio_animals_govern.pdf

> SIGN HERE for the REMOVAL of Josep Maria Pelegri: Let’s keep bullfights from returning to Catalonia./a>

Absolute majority in the vote to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia

Members of the Platform PROU, formed by animal protection activists who presented the ILP (Initiative Legislative Popular) to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia (Spain), gave a press conference just after the positive result in the voting in the plenary meeting of the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona that amended the current animal protection legislation to ban bullfighting.

During the press conference they showed their satisfaction for the result of the vote “fruit of a political class that represents the view of most Catalan people”; the activists also mentioned the other positive achievements obtained during the course of the campaign, such as “ the Catalan animal protection movement has efficiently worked together for a common cause; mobilizing more than one thousand activists for PROU’s campaign has been a positive experience, and gathering more than 180,000 signatures in favour of animals and against their suffering has been very important”, all facts that helped to achieve this abolition.

Regarding the legitimacy of this ban in Catalonia, Plataforma PROU has stated “The campaign to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia has taken the last step towards its necessary legitimacy: the legitimacy necessary to stop these bloody practices. The popular legitimacy, massively supported by a society which rejects these spectacles; the constitutional and statutory legitimacy, thanks to the positive report of the Council of Statutory Guarantees; and now, finally, the legislative and political legitimacy, thanks to today’s overwhelmingly favourable vote.”

To finish, they declared that “It is not a matter of whimsical prohibitions or of stomping on people’s individual freedoms. It is a matter of suffering. Clearly, waiting is not an option, since while we wait there are animals that suffer unnecessarily. Bullfighting in all its forms is strongly subsidized by public money, and while that continues its unstoppable end will be delayed for decades; this must be avoided.”

Over 270 eminent international scientists ask Catalonia to abolish bullfighting

Over 270 eminent international scientists ask Catalonia to abolish bullfighting.

Since the legislative process for the abolition of bullfighting in Catalonia – put forward via a Popular Legislative Initiative – began in late 2008, Catalan Parliamentarians have been receiving a steady trickle of letters and manifestos in favour of the abolition of bullfighting in this Community.

Whilst the abolitionists have always had greater support from the scientific community, that position has now been permanently consolidated: leading international scientists, academics and researchers in the field of violence, signed and sent a declaration calling for an end to bullfighting and warning of the negative effects these events can have on society, above all on the formation of new generations. These 273 distinguished figures from 16 countries – researchers, professors and legal professionals – reminded the Catalan Parliament that science should be an inspirational impetus for Laws and Regulations, and that the violence of the bullfight must not be overlooked “clearly, violence is violence, irrespective of the victim”, they argue.

As they state in their letter, “Animal abuse is a serious societal concern with important significance for human welfare. It is increasingly clear that a world in which animal abuse goes unchecked is also a less safe world for human beings.”

In their letter, the signatories state that research “shows (…) that simply witnessing animal abuse perpetuates the cycle of violence – through desensitization and modelling. Particularly younger people who repeatedly witness animal abuse could “learn” to use violence in their personal relationships.” they declare. “As research scientists, psychologists, sociologists, criminologists and legal and human-service professionals, we are concerned about the contribution that animal abuse makes to problems of violence toward humans (…) Prudence and precaution would call for legislative action that takes this connection into account.”

“Turning directly to the practice of bullfighting, societies differ both by custom and law in what they consider (and what they have considered at some time in their history) animal abuse. Bullfighting is one of many practices that is increasingly being considered and questioned within countries and regions where it was at one time popular.”

Distinguished Members of the Catalan Parliament:

It has come to our attention that the Parliament is considering a Popular Legislative Initiative that would modify and strengthen an article of the Animal Protection Law in Catalonia.

We respectfully write to you with the hope that you may find our comments useful when deliberating on this important decision. As research scientists, psychologists, sociologists, criminologists and legal and human-service professionals, we are concerned about the contribution that animal abuse makes to problems of violence toward humans.

A significant body of research demonstrates that animal abuse is closely associated with wife battering, child maltreatment, and other forms of interpersonal violence, all of which society has a substantial interest in preventing. Prudence and precaution would call for legislative action that takes this connection into account.

Animal abusers are more likely to be violent towards people and to engage in everyday common crimes. One extensive study (Arluke, et. al., Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1999) showed that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes such as assault, rape, and murder; four times as likely to commit property crimes; and three times as likely to commit drug-related crimes. Research also shows a particularly strong connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. Those that perpetrate violence towards animals are more likely to abuse spouses or children.

Clearly, violence is violence, irrespective of the victim, and people who resort to violence in dealing with animals are also more likely to do so in their relationships with humans. Whether against an animal or human, these perpetrators use the force and power of violence to dominate and control others.

What some of you may not be aware of is that, In addition to the relationship between the perpetration of animal abuse and interpersonal violence, direct exposure to animal abuse can also lead to future violent behavior towards humans. Recent research shows and it is important to understand that simply witnessing animal abuse perpetuates the cycle of violence – through desensitization and modeling. Particularly younger people who repeatedly witness animal abuse could “learn” to use violence in their personal relationships.

Given the robust body of evidence linking animal abuse to violence towards humans, many governments have moved to strengthen animal protection legislation, and law enforcement and government agencies in several countries have adopted policies based on these findings. For example, several jurisdictions in the United States have instituted cross-reporting and cross-training between human services and humane agencies. In addition, The Federal Bureau of Investigation uses animal abuse data to help them track and identify violent offenders. Social workers have been taught the need to report animal abuse, and police officers have been trained to look for signs of child and gender-based violence when investigating cases of animal abuse. More recently, child protection services, women shelters and local police departments have begun to interface with veterinarians and others entities involved with animal care, and animal abuse reports are being used as indicators of homes where child abuse or wife beating may be taking place.

Turning directly to the practice of bullfighting, societies differ both by custom and law in what they consider (and what they have considered at some time in their history) animal abuse. Bullfighting is one of many practices that is increasingly being considered and questioned within countries and regions where it was at one time popular.

From our point of view, it is clear that bullfighting shares the major features of those forms of animal abuse found to be associated with violence to humans. Force, power, dominance, and control are all components of the bullfight. Severity of the harm done to animals is also an important variable in the association. The slow and ritualized injury of bulls, culminating in their death, is comparable to instances of severe or egregious abuse.

We are particularly concerned with the impact on people who witness bullfighting. Juveniles who witness the repeated stabbing and the eventual death of bulls before an enthusiastic audience are impressionable and more apt to learn that it is acceptable to violently assert power and dominance over vulnerable living creatures, whether these are animals or vulnerable people.

Although not all people involved in animal abuse are violent towards humans, and many people who perpetrate or witness animal abuse do not become violent towards people, the connection between animal abuse and interpersonal violence cannot be ignored. Animal abuse is a serious societal concern with important significance for human welfare. It is increasingly clear that a world in which animal abuse goes unchecked is also a less safe world for human beings. Responsible legislators would be wise to consider the mounting evidence of an association between these two forms of violence and abuse.

In conclusion, in light of the established connection between violence towards animals and violence towards humans, we join as scientists, scholars, and human service professionals from around the world and respectfully urge you to support the Popular Legislative Initiative, and ban bullfights.

Respectfully,

Kenneth Shapiro, PhD in Clinical Psychology, Editor, Society and Animals Journal

275 RESEARCH SCIENTISTS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, CRIMINOLOGITS, SCHOLRAS, AND LEGAL AND HUMAN SERVICE PROFESSIONALS ENDORSE THE LETTER. See the list here