Colombian Congress Bans Bullfighting

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.29 - 2024 2:02 PM CET

Colombia's Congress has taken a historic step by passing a bill that will ban bullfighting nationwide.

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Colombia's Congress has passed a bill that will ban bullfighting across the country starting in 2027.

Animal rights activists have campaigned for years against bullfighting, arguing that it is a cruel and inhumane practice.

According to the BBC, their efforts have now culminated in this recent legislative victory.

Cultural Heritage

Bullfighting was introduced to Colombia by the Spanish during the colonial era and became a popular spectacle, drawing thousands to bullrings in major cities like Bogotá, Medellín, and Manizales.

Despite its historical significance, the practice has faced criticism and declining support.

The bill now awaits the signature of President Gustavo Petro, who strongly supports the ban.

Petro has been vocal about his stance, stating on social media, "Those who enjoy the death of animals will end up enjoying the death of human beings, just as those who burn books end up burning human beings."

His approval is expected to be a formality.

Supporters of bullfighting have protested the bill, arguing that it threatens the livelihoods of those in the industry, from bull breeders to street vendors.

To address these concerns, the bill includes a three-year transition period during which individuals dependent on bullfighting will receive help finding alternative sources of income.

The legislation also outlines new purposes for the iconic bullrings. These venues will be repurposed for cultural and sporting events, ensuring they remain important community spaces.

Global Perspective

Colombia joins a growing list of Latin American countries that have banned bullfighting. Argentina, Cuba, and Uruguay banned the practice over a century ago, and it is also banned in Brazil and Chile.

Bullfighting remains legal in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.

In Europe, bullfighting is still legal in Spain and France, though it has been banned in certain cities within these countries.

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