Olé! Colombia Bans Bullfighting.

Photo: Pixabay. The historic sport of bullfighting seems to be on its last legs as more countries and cities ban the sport.
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Colombia’s Congress has passed a bill which will ban bullfights across the South American Andean country from 2027 onwards.

The ban is the result of a noisy campaign by animal rights activists, who have long argued that the sport is cruel to bulls.

Bullfighting was introduced in Colombia by the Spanish during colonial times and became a very popular sport, drawing thousands of spectators to large bullring stadiums in cities such as Bogotá, Medellín and Manizales.

The bill still needs to be signed by the president, Gustavo Petro, but as he has backed the ban, this is considered to be a formality.

The president welcomed its approval by Congress, writing on X that “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”.

Supporters of bullfighting had protested against the bill, saying it would deprive not just those who breed the bulls of their livelihood but also the many street vendors who hawk their wares at the bullrings.

In order to mitigate its impact, the bill will allow for a three-year transition period in which those whose businesses are tied to bullfighting will be offered help finding alternative incomes.

Bullrings will in future be used for cultural and sporting events, the bill stipulates.

Colombia is the latest country in Latin American to prohibit bullfighting.

Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay banned the practice over a century ago, and there are also bans in place in Brazil and Chile, among others.

However, according to the BBC, it is still allowed in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

Ecuador held a referendum in 2011 which was aimed at ending the 500-year-old tradition of killing of bulls in the ring. The same referendum also outlawed cockfighting and casino gambling.

The city of Quito also passed a local by-law banning bullfights at the local arena,

Mexico City imposed a ban in 2022 only to see it overturned two years later.

More than 40,000 people flocked to the first bullfight to be held in the city’s bullring, the world’s largest,since the ban was overturned.

In Europe, bullfights are still held in France and Spain, although some cities have outlawed it.

Bullfight aficionados admire the style, skill, and artistry of the top bullfighters who are celebrities like soccer stars.

Regardless of whether the sport is cruel, it is still capable of attracting large crowds on festivals and holidays, but in general it seems that the sport is dying and that the taste for the last survival of Roman gladiatorial sports is not there any more.

A British export, football is now by far the most popular spectator sport in South America.

Sources: BBC, Wikipedia.



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