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Colombia’s decision to prohibit bullfighting marks a pivotal shift in Latin American traditions, aligning it with other countries that recognize the cultural and ethical need to end such practices.

In a historic move, Colombia has finally declared bullfighting illegal, making it the latest country to ban this cruel and barbaric sport. The decision, widely applauded by animal rights activists worldwide, marks the culmination of years of lobbying to end the practice.

On May 28, 2024, the Colombian Congress passed a bill that prohibits bullfighting and any activities associated with harming or killing animals. Those violating the law would also face fines. An overwhelming majority of 93 congressmen voted in favor of the ban—with only two opposing—sending the bill to President Gustavo Petro for final approval.

Petro, the country’s first leftist president, celebrated the victory on X, writing, ‘Congratulations to all for ensuring that death will no longer be a spectacle.’

Introduced during the Spanish colonial era, bullfighting quickly became a significant part of Colombia’s cultural heritage, attracting thousands of spectators to large bullrings in cities such as Bogotá, Medellín, and Manizales. However, in recent years, the sport has increasingly been condemned as cruel and inhumane by animal welfare activists. PACMA, a Spanish group that has been leading campaigns to ban the practice internationally, initiated one of the most vocal of these campaigns.

In bullfighting, a series of gruelling rounds unfold where a bull is repeatedly stabbed with spears and swords before being killed by a matador. This process is not only brutal but also extremely stressful for the animals, causing them significant pain, anguish, and trauma. Studies show that bulls endure physical and emotional suffering that can last for days, even weeks, after the fight. Hence, the ban in Colombia is expected to put a stop to this needless suffering and cruelty to animals.

‘Banning bullfighting in Colombia is a momentous decision and a tremendous victory for animal rights,’ said Lisa Lange, Senior Vice President of PETA. ‘This landmark move brings us one step closer to ending the outdated and cruel practice of bullfighting worldwide. We applaud Colombia for taking a stand against animal cruelty.’

Supporters of bullfighting have protested against the bill, arguing that it affects not only the livelihoods of those who breed bulls but also impacts many street vendors who rely on bullfighting events for their income. To address these concerns, the bill includes a three-year transition period to assist those involved in finding alternative sources of income, aiming to mitigate the immediate impact on the livelihoods of bull breeders and street vendors.

Moreover, the bill outlines the future use of bullrings for cultural and sporting events, signalling a shift from traditional bullfighting to alternative forms of entertainment and cultural activities.

Colombia’s decision to prohibit bullfighting marks a pivotal shift in Latin American traditions, aligning it with other countries that recognize the cultural and ethical need to end such practices. While countries like Argentina, Cuba, and Uruguay banned bullfighting over a century ago, and bans are in place in Brazil and Chile, the practice has persisted in nations such as Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. The recent ban in Colombia adds to a growing trend of reevaluating the cultural and ethical implications of bullfighting in the region.

Original source: https://www.totallyveganbuzz.com

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