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No bullfights will take place in Bogota in 2021

9 December 2020

An empty bullring

The bullfighting season will not take place in 2021 in the Colombian capital Bogota. Bullfights are usually held in the city every February. But due to the risk of the spreading of the coronavirus, it was decided to cancel the planned bullfights. This isn't the only reason, though: earlier this year, the city council of Bogota voted in favor of a project to demotivate bullfighting.

Last summer the city council of the Colombian capital Bogota approved a project that aims to end traditional bullfighting. This means that the killing and injuring of bulls is not allowed, as is the use of public funds to subsidize the bullfights. This does not mean that bullfighting itself is prohibited. It is still allowed, but in a limited form. Since the use of stabbing instruments during the bullfight is no longer permitted, the animal will not be injured. The traditional Spanish bullfight will therefore change into bloodless events with bulls. In addition, the number of bullfights allowed per year is halved.

Collaboration with CAS

The project was presented by city councillor Andrea Padilla, of the green party Alianza Verde. CAS International knows Andrea very well; we have been working with her for many years to end bullfighting in Colombia. She also fights against animal suffering in the organization AnimaNaturalis. Unfortunately, Colombia's constitution makes an absolute ban on bullfighting impossible. But with this project, Andrea Padilla wants to put an end to the bloody bullfights, by removing the elements that are attractive to bullfighting lovers. Without blood and death, most of them will lose interest. Andrea Padilla:

"Eliminating stabbing tools and the killing of the bull in the bullring, raising taxes, limiting the number of bullfights, obliging organizers to inform about animal suffering and to fund their own feast of death, will be the death blow for this barbarism.”

Constitutionality

The decision of the city council of Bogota to end traditional bullfighting is encouraging. However, it remains to be seen whether the Colombian constitution will allow this change. In Colombia, it is not possible to ban bullfighting in places where it is a cultural tradition. For example, the ex-mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro, banned bullfighting in 2012, but this decision was cancelled by the Constitutional Court. We do not yet know whether the constitution allows changes in the way a bullfight is conducted. Whatever happens, thanks to the decision of the City Council of Bogota, there is currently an intense public debate about the barbarity of these events, which is positive. A project is currently being discussed in the Congress of Colombia to ban bullfighting across the entire country. The first vote took place last week and the project was then approved. A second vote will follow shortly. Keep an eye on our website for more news from Colombia!

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