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French parliament to debate banning traditional corrida bullfighting

A left-wing MP has proposed a bill which would outlaw bullfighting in France where the animal is killed, and which is expected to be voted on in November

Far-left La France Insoumise MP Aymeric Caron has brought forward a bill which is expected to be debated on November 24 Pic: alberto clemares exhibition_shutterstock

A vote this month on banning bullfighting will be the first time the Assemblée nationale will have debated abolishing the custom. 

Far-left La France Insoumise MP Aymeric Caron has brought forward a bill which is expected to be debated on November 24. 

Read more: Pro-bullfighting groups rally against proposed ban in France

Article 521-1 of the penal code bans cruelty towards animals, but maintains an exception for the corrida in areas where there is a “local, uninterrupted tradition”. 

Corrida is a Spanish form of bullfighting which typically results in the animal’s death. It still takes place in large arenas in French towns such as Nîmes, Dax, Arles and Béziers. 

In 2020, the Court of Appeal of Toulouse ruled that the tradition exists in much of the south, including Provence, Languedoc and the Basque Country. 

Eighty-one per cent of French people oppose bull fights where the animal is killed, according to a 2021 Ifop survey for the Alliance Anticorrida association. 

Read more: A long road ahead: Parti Animaliste leader on French animal rights

Less violent traditions

There are other, less violent traditions. 

In a course camarguaise, participants attempt to remove ornaments placed between the bull’s horns. The course landaise consists of trying to dodge horned cows. 

Defenders of the corrida say it is an essential part of the feria festivals which attract millions of visitors to southern France.

Related links

Bullfighting cannot use ‘live’ show tax rate, France rules

Ban children from attending bullfights

Animal rights groups hit back as MPs attend bullfight

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