Nine animal-rights groups on Wednesday launched a new platform in Barcelona to stop bull-running events in Spain’s northwest region of Catalonia, releasing results of a public opinion poll showing the 75 percent of Catalans think the correbous tradition should be banned and 80 percent believe the running and taunting of the bulls in local festivals throughout Catalonia amount to animal cruelty.
At a rally in the Plaza Sant Jaume square in from of Catalonia’s regional Generalitat government offices yesterday, the organizers of the new Prou Correbous (“Stop Bull-running”) platform called on the Catalan regional parliament to “have the courage to end these festivals involving the mistreatment of animals.”
Speaking on behalf of the new platform, Aïda Gascón of the Prou Correbous co-founding organization AnimaNaturalis, said that lawmakers needed to pass new legislation to ban the events, reflecting the result of a non-binding resolution introduced by legislators from Catalonia’s Podemos-affiliated Podem party last year that was approved majority vote in the regional Parlament.
Gascón said the formation of the new animal-rights platform received its impulse from an incident last July in the town of Vidreres in Girona province in which a bull broke free of the enclosure at a correbous event and injured 19 people. The Vidreres incident confirms the animal-rights activists’ position, she said, that “the protection of individuals, the general public and the animals cannot be guaranteed” in the correbous events that continue to be held throughout Catalonia.
The correbous running and taunting of bulls inside enclosed areas in local squares or streets is a traditional part of many civic and religious festivities in towns and villages in Catalan-speaking areas of Spain, including Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Despite a 2010 ban imposed by the Catalonia regional Parlament on bullfights in which the animals are killed by matadors in a bullring in front of spectators, the correbous events have continued largely unabated over the past decade.
Though the bull-fighting ban has since been overturned by the country’s Constitutional Court on the grounds that bullfights are protected as part of national cultural patrimony by Spain’s Constitution, bullfighting remains generally unpopular in Catalonia and no bullfights have been staged since the original 2010 ban went into place.
In addition to AnimaNaturalis, other organizers of the Prou Correbous platform include the Catalan animal-protection group ADDA, national animal rights groups FAADA and Libera!, Girona-based Fundación Fauna and Lex Ànima, the Catalan office of the Swiss-based Fondation Franz Weber and and local groups AVDA and Tots Som Poble, protesting bull-running events in the Catalan towns of Vidreres and Amposta, respectively.
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