The list of anti-bullfighting towns now stands at 81; Costitx, a town on the island of Mallorca, is the first town in the Balearic Islands to join the list. The majority of towns (69) are in Catalonia, but little by little other communities have started to add their voices, demonstrating what the polls state: that bull-fighting is rejected by a very wide sector of the population all over Spain.
On Monday the 20th, the Town Council approved a motion drawn up by the association called “Active People”; the three town councilors of “Costitx for Change” party voted in favour of the motion while two of the three councilors of the UM party abstained from voting. The third UM councilor and the only “PP” party councilor voted against the motion. Thus, Costitx became an abolitionist town.
In declarations to Europa Press, the town councilor of Costitx for Change, Carme Ferragut, explained that she supported the initiative promoted by the ‘Active People’ association, to which she also belongs, as part of an ongoing process which requests all the towns on the islands to declare that they are against ‘anti-bullfighting’; many other towns on the mainland have already done the same including the city of Barcelona.
She explained that last Monday the declaration was presented in the form of a motion in the Town Council which is governed by Toni Salas (UM) in coalition with “Costitx for Change”. She highlighted that thanks to Salas, who gave freedom to his party’s councilors instead of obliging them to vote the party-line, the anti-bullfighting motion was successful.
Ferragut pointed out that with this “symbolic” declaration, the town of Costitx makes a public statement that it “does not feel identified with the tradition of the bulls”, although in fact, Costitx does not host any bull-fights or have a bullring. On the other hand, she revealed that the ‘Active People’ association plans to promote this initiative in the rest of the towns on the Balearic Islands, starting with those governed by independent candidatures.
The town councilor of “Costitx for Change” stressed bull-fighting was a “barbarian” practice and a “thing of the past” where animals were subjected to gratuitous ill treatment. “It is not necessary to include the ill-treatment of an animal in local festivities”, she remarked.
THE “LACK OF COURAGE” OF PALMA
On the other hand, she considered that the Town Council of the capital, Palma, “is not brave enough” to declare Palma an “anti-bullfighting” city. In this way, she referred to the fact that on the 18th of June, the Cort postponed the declaring of Palma as an ‘anti-bullfighting city’ due to a lack of agreement in the municipal government cabinet; the PSIB and the UM parties did not accept that the “Bloc” party presented a proposal of resolution during the Plenary Session of the State of the City, requesting the Town Council to position itself against bulls-fighting.
However, the deputy mayor who is councilor for Social Welfare and the spokesman of the “Bloc” party, Eberhard Grosske, argued that this abolitionist proposal “will mature”, due to “society advancing” and he feels that, with time, the citizens will require the Town Council to reject bull-fighting.
Grosske pointed out that there are autonomic and state laws which establish that it is prohibited “to torture or mistreat animals”, although he criticized he state Law because it includes an exception in which bull-fighting or bull-related events are legal in all those towns where these are events involving animals are traditional and have been organized for many years.
Moreover, he added that there is a “fundamental element” that will bring about change in the near future and will encourage Palma to make an anti-bullfighting declaration like Barcelona and other towns on mainland Spain; he was referring to the fact that “all the opinion surveys show that bull-fighting only has a minority support of those citizens who defend it by identifying it with a cultural and artistic values”.