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  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

Spainís Government Appeals against Animal Protection Law That Bans Bullfights

MADRID Ė Spainís government has agreed on Friday to appeal legislation passed by the Balearic Islands region that forbids mistreating and killing animals for entertainment, as in the case of bullfighting.

Government spokesman IŮigo Mendez de Vigo said the appeal would be accompanied by a request that the Constitutional Court, the highest rung of Spainís judiciary, suspend the islandís law while the appeal is lodged.

ďThe Cabinet has decided to ask the prime minister to lodge an appeal against the Balearic Islandsí law of August 3, 2017 on the regulation of bullfights, and animal protection, on grounds that some aspects of it are unconstitutional,Ē Mendez de Vigo said.

The Balearic Islands, which include Mediterranean vacation hot-spots Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, launched a bid to outlaw the bloodsport in 2016 in defiance of Spainís conservative central government.

The attempt was halted by a Constitutional Court ruling that stipulated that Spainís provincial governments were not empowered to rule on such practices.

The islandsí parliament insisted and approved the law this year.

Spainís conservative Popular Party government in 2013 declared bullfighting a national cultural asset, enabling it to draw on public funds, a move most Spaniards oppose, according to opinion polls.

Mendez de Vigo explained that among the appealís arguments was that the Balearic Islands do not have jurisdiction over animal protection in their regional government statutes.

He added that the law also violated state laws that protect bullfighting as an example of ďintangible cultural heritage.Ē

He said the Balearic law was unconstitutional because it trespassed into or undermined state authority to guarantee equality among all Spaniards in the exercise of their rights and freedoms.

It also undermined the defense of Spainís cultural, artistic and monumental heritage.

The bullfighting law was approved by the Balearic Parliament in July with the votes of opposition left-leaning parties and expressly prohibits the mistreatment and killing of bulls, so bullfighters can only use the red-colored cape to taunt bulls, but cannot then draw a sword to kill the ornery animals.

 

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