Cataluña votes on bullfighting

The parliament of Cataluña will today vote on whether or not to become the first region of mainland Spain to ban bullfighting, the Canary Islands having introduced a ban in 1991.The vote is taking place as the result of a petition brought to parliament signed by 180,000 people (50,000 signatures were required to force a vote) who argue that the practice is both barbaric and outdated.

Supporters of bullfighting insist that the corrida, as it is known, is an important tradition to preserve. They also fear the vote could be the first of many throughout Spain and this could threaten the livelihoods of thousands of people.

The debate begins at 10:00 today, Wednesday, with all parties able to have their say on the issue. Unusually, the two main political parties are allowing their members to vote according to conscience rather than having to tow the party line.

The vote is expected to be close.

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