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.