Factbox: Spaniards react with passion to bullfight vote

Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:46am EDT
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BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's bullfighting ban, passed in the region's parliament on Wednesday, provoked passionate reactions throughout Spain.

Catalonia, a region of northeastern Spain with a strong separatist movement, will become the first part of the country's mainland to outlaw the centuries-old tradition. It has been banned in the Canary Islands for some years.

The ban was pushed by animal rights activists who want it extended across the entire country, but some Spaniards saw the vote as having more to do with Catalonia's drive to cut Madrid's political influence than with the protection of animals.

VICENTE ESTEBAN, Madrid, 63, taxi driver

"It's a real shame, it's been our national festival forever. People don't have to go to the bullring and if they don't like animals to die they better not eat meat either. Every living thing suffers." Esteban goes to bullfights several times a year and fears the ban could catch on in other provinces.

SARA LUBRERAS, Plencia, Basque Country, 33

"I think this decision is fantastic. At this stage of the 21st century, this is a horrible abuse of animals and appalling that we can call animal-suffering a festival.

"I couldn't eat meat knowing that the animal had been killed while people applauded its death. I'd be capable of becoming a vegetarian."

PACO CARMONA, Madrid, former bullfighter and trainer   Continued...