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Constitutional Court Colombia opens door to prohibition bullfighting

Wednesday, February 8th 2017

Colombia sin Toreo © Colombia sin Toreo
 
At this moment there are positive developments in Colombia that make it possible to make laws regarding bullfights and cruel feasts with bulls. Until now, bullfighting was an exception in the Colombian animal protection laws (Ley 1774 del 6 de enero de 2016 and Ley 84 de 1989). But the Constitutional Court now recognizes that bullfighting is animal maltreatment and gives the Congress two years to legislate and adapt these exceptions. An important step has been taken to protect bulls and horses.

Animal Protection Law 2016
In January 2016 the government of Colombia recognized that animals are sentient beings and that animal maltreatment should be punished. But an exception was made for bullfights, feasts with bulls and cockfights. Without these exceptions there was not enough support in the Congress to support this animal protection Law (Ley 1774 del 6 de enero de 2016).

Bullfighting is animal maltreatment
By society appeals were made against these exceptions. Thanks to this, the Constitutional Court decided, with five votes in favor and four against, that the law could not be executed, and that the actual law needs to be reformed. The door is opened now to prohibit bullfighting. With this decision the Constitutional Court recognizes that there is animal abuse during bullfights and that the protection of traditions is not longer a priority in relation to the protection of animals.

CAS International applauds this sentence of the Constitutional Court. It is a big step forwards. We hope that Colombia will be an example for the other bullfighting countries where traditions are more important than the welfare of animals. Besides, Colombia is a country with a lot of violence in society. Important steps have been made towards peace, but it is needed to end the violence in the bullring too. Because violence leads to more violence.

Colombia Sin Toreo, a national coalition of social and animal rights organizations, will work intensively for the best outcome possible for bulls and horses. We can not predict what the legislation will look like but our main goals is abolition. CAS supports Colombia Sin Toreo and will contribute in all possible ways to end bullfighting in Colombia.


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