Barcelona Votes to end Bullfights

Nearly 250,000 people signed a petition calling for abolition in
Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital.

The regional government must now approve the ban, the first of its kind
in Spain, for it to become law.

Supporters of the sport, regarded by many as a national pastime, have
threatened to take to the streets in protest.

In a secret ballot, 21 councillors voted in favour, 15 against, with two
abstentions.

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HISTORIC PASTIME
* One of earliest references dates back to 200 BC in Andalusia
* Banned by Pope Pius V in 16th century
* Also popular in Portugal, southern France and Latin America
* Bulls are specially bred and colour-bind
* One of most memorable literary portrayals is in Ernest Hemingway's
Death in the Afternoon (1932)

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The motion states: Barcelona is an anti-bullfighting city.

The BBC's Danny Wood in Madrid says the vote reflects a feeling that
bullfighting is incompatible with Barcelona's image of a city famous for
art and architecture.

The aim also expresses a Catalan desire to forge an identity separate
from Madrid, he adds.

The vote has inflamed fans of the sport.

Apart from Madrid and Seville, no other city stages more bullfights.

About 100 bulls are killed each year in bullfights in Barcelona's only
working bull ring, La Monumental, watched mainly by curious tourists.

However, a city council spokesman told BBC News Online that there has
not been a large bullfighting following in the region since the 1960s.






Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

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