Category: Media & Culture / September 21, 2012 1:02 PM EDT
The French Constitutional Council has declared bullfighting to be legal in France. Although the sport is widely banned in most of the country it is still practiced in the south, close to the border of Spain, bullfighting’s country of origin.
A request to ban bullfighting was brought to the Council by two animal-rights organizations. They asked the court to close a loophole that allows for the continuation of the sport in France’s southern region.
However, the court declared the sport to be part of the regions heritage, therefore qualifying for an exception under France’s criminal code which forbids cruelty to animals.
After the ruling was made public, activists vowed to keep the fight against bullfighting going.
Claire Starozinksi, President of the Anti-Bullfighting Association: "The fight will go on, it is a long fight, I knew it before I started it 20 years ago. I am not discouraged, not at all. Bullrings are more and more deserted. The youth doesn't want this kind of show anymore, they want lively shows. They don't want to see a delirious crowd reveling in the death of an animal lying in its blood."
Some residents of southern France welcomed the decision.
Unidentified Nimes resident: "We are not just relieved, we are delighted. We are a bit fed up by people attacking us all the time, we feel like we must justify ourselves all the time, and it is very unpleasant. Very very unpleasant."
Unidentified Nimes resident: "This decision suits us perfectly, it shows us some respect in a way, for our history: our parents, our grandparents, everybody has been to this bullring."