Animal activist groups versus political parties is not something that makes the news everyday. Today though it does, especially in the South of France where the debate on traditional bullfighting is on and hot.
Traditions have been upheld by generations over the years but sometimes due to changing social norms, these traditions may begin to cross the line. The judges on France’s Constitutional Council did not believe that traditional bullfighting crossed such a line when they rejected a bid to outlaw the sport.
According to The International Business Times the bid was put forth by animal rights activist groups who have now responded by calling the court’s ruling “politically motivated” and “proved that the Constitutional Council is anything but independent.”
Now the CAS International site says that more than 1000 bulls give their lives to the sport each year in France alone. These bulls may not be dying for entertainment alone though. France 24 reports “Corrida’s (bullfighting’s) defenders say the tradition brings huge economic benefits to southern French cities, especially important as France labors under the financial crisis. Hundreds of thousands of tourists attend weeklong ferias (traditional festivals) with bullfights as a central attraction. Banning the sport would have "dramatic" consequences for southern economies, Genevieve Darrieusecq, the mayor of Mont-de-Marsan and head of the UVTF association of French towns that host bullfights, told AFP. "It would damage the attractiveness of our festivals and have economic effects on hotels and restaurants," she said.”
Now whether this is true or if the money that is raised by these events falls solely into the elite involved is something that we do not know for certain. The BBC reports that in a recent opinion poll in France suggested 48% support for a ban, although earlier polls suggested as many as two-thirds of the French electorate would back a ban.
With such a split on the issue it is not likely that we have seen the end of this issue as it is anything but solved. For now though, you are still able to go and enjoy a Corrida in the South of France.