It is not widely covered in the press, but bullfighting also has a loyal following in France, although the sport is coming under strong pressure from animal rights groups.
Since the vote to ban it in the Spanish region of Cataluña from 2012, French animal welfare groups have been stepping up their campaign to get bullfighting outlawed in France as well and there has been an increased presence of chanting protesters at local bullfights in towns and villages throughout southern France.
On the other hand, some towns in the south of France are planning to stage more bullfights, hoping to attract fans from Spain following the ban in Cataluña.
Although bullfighting originated across the border in Spain, it took root in France about 150 years ago, partly because of an influx of Spanish immigrants.
There is currently a bill to abolish bullfighting in France, just like in Cataluña, and this does not please the bullfighters or the afficianados who believe that the death of a bull in the ring is far more noble than death in a slaughterhouse.
In theory at least, bullfighting is already banned in most of France, but it is ‘allowed’ in areas where it’s become a local tradition. The pressure now is for a total ban.