French anti-bullfighting group calls for teaching ban

A French anti-bullfighting group is calling for a ban on bullfighting schools and the training of minors in bullfighting in France, calling it “a form of legal barbarism”.

26 February 2019
By Connexion journalist

Anti-bullfighting association CRAC (comité radical anti-corrida) has made the demand to the Marseille administrative court of appeal.

Bullfighting schools that teach minors - such as those in Arles, Nîmes and Béziers - could be among those affected should the law change.

The CRAC first called for a ban on these schools in 2016, issuing a statement saying: “Bullfighting in France continues to constitute a sort of island of legal barbarism."

It is especially opposed to schools that offer bullfighting classes to young people aged 7 to 20. It said the activity was “dangerous, and exposes [young people] to animal mistreatment.”

Yet, critics have accused CRAC of “hiding behind the issue of ‘young people’” to hide its “real aim of banning bullfighting altogether”.

Despite agreeing with CRAC that bullfighting was barbaric, prosecutor Michel Revert called on the court to reject the group’s specific demand, saying that their case file “severely lacked” any evidence against bullfighting schools specifically.

He said: “Under the cover of protecting minors, the case by CRAC Europe is actually aimed at bullfighting [in general].”

Katia Fischer, the lawyer for the Béziers bullfighting school, agreed. She added: “Swimming is a more dangerous sport [for young people] than bullfighting.”

Yet, another lawyer involved in the case, Me Courage, reminded the court of the dangers of bullfighting, saying: “Do not wait for a serious accident! [These are] 14-year-old children in front of 300-kilo minimum animals, who are in a state of stress.”

The court is due to make a decision soon but an exact date for the ruling has not been released.

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