The gory spectacle of bulls bleeding to death is now a thing of the past in the Balearics. In a historic vote, the Parliament of Spain’s Mediterranean islands has adopted a new animal welfare law. A key architect of the new legislation was Fondation Franz Weber.
At 3 pm, animal lovers had cause to celebrate. With votes of 33:19, with two abstentions, the Balearic Parliament voted overwhelmingly for a new, comprehensive animal protection law. Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) played a decisive role in designing the new law. This makes the Balearic Islands off the Mediterranean coast the third autonomous community in Spain (after the Canary Islands and Catalonia) to render bullfighting effectively impossible.
Under pressure from the bullfighting lobby, Spain’s Constitutional Court had previously ruled in October 2016 that communities would not be allowed to adopt any bullfighting bans, such as the one adopted in Catalonia. As a result, a similar bill was set out for the Balearic Islands and revised accordingly with the aid of FFW.
The aforementioned decision by Spain’s Constitutional Court prohibits autonomous provinces and communities from imposing bullfighting bans, but acknowledges their authority to regulate bullfighting events and adopt safeguards for the bulls and the public. Now the Balearic government has approved the amended law, which is compliant with the Constitution, yet manages to discourage bullfighting.
This de-facto outlawing of the corrida has been made possible by imposing tight new rules and restrictions, which the Balearics have the power to adopt. FFW and the Veterinary Association for the Abolition of Bullfighting and Animal Abuse (AVATMA) acted in an advisory capacity for reworking the new bill, providing continued assistance. It encompasses, among other aspects, the most stringent requirements on animal rearing, age and transport. Only three bulls are permitted to take part per performance, for a maximum duration of half an hour. Sharp objects and other instruments that could cause pain to the bulls are also forbidden in the arena.
FFW president Vera Weber is delighted: „Never again will a ‘matador’ – a killer – be able to deliver the deathblow to a bull in the Balearic Islands. For today, bullfighting on these Mediterranean islands was itself dealt the death blow!“ And Leonardo Anselmi, Director of Fondation Franz Weber in Spain and Latin America, stressed: „We have set a precedent here. Communities and other provinces can now simply adopt this set of rules and thus legally put an end to bullfighting on their soil.“