Catalonia is right to reject bullfighting

A bullfight in Valladolid in the middle of Spain last month. Catalonia wants to reject such events in its region. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

A bullfight in Valladolid in the middle of Spain last month. Catalonia wants to reject such events in its region. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

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The refusal of Catalonia’s parliament to accept the return of bullfighting to the region following a Spanish court ruling is deeply heartening.

The tide is turning against this nightmarish blood sport and the day is fast approaching when all of Spain will follow the example of the Catalans.

To equate the deliberate organised torture of an animal to death with “tradition” and “culture”, as Spain’s highest court has effectively done, is to insult the intelligence of any normal, compassion human being. In this ostensibly “cultural” event, the bull is weakened before even entering the ring by being beaten over the kidneys and having Vaseline rubbed into its eyes to impair vision.

In the ring it is repeatedly stabbed with razor sharp darts and lances, reducing it to a quivering, pain-racked hulk before the theatrical matador with his swishing cape gets to plunge a sword between its shoulder blades.

The principled stance of Catalonia against this blot on civilisation will hopefully inspire opponents of other blood sports like hare coursing and fox hunting, two obscenities that still shame Ireland. Those who organise and participate in the terrorizing of hares and foxes here are on the same level as the bullfighters, and even use the same lame “part of our heritage” excuse in defending these pastimes.

The fans who laugh and cheer as the hares run from salivating dogs are united in sadism with the bullfighters, as are the people who get their kicks from watching a fox run for its life prior to having the skin ripped from its bones by the pack.

The battle to end blood sports in Europe will continue until these vile practises have been consigned to history.

John Fitzgerald, Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports, Kilkenny