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Spanish parliament moves to protect bullfights

Published on Feb 13, 2013 5:56 AM
A tourist takes a photo of the statue of Spanish bullfighter Cayetano Ordonez Aguilera "Nino de la Palma" outside the bullring in Ronda, near Malaga Feb 12, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Spain's parliament agreed on Tuesday to debate declaring bullfighting a national cultural treasure - a step towards possibly reinstating it in the Catalonia region where it was banned a year ago.

A petition organised by the Catalan Bullfighting Federation signed by nearly 600,000 people states that "bullfighting belongs to Spain's global culture, and to the historical and cultural patrimony common to all Spaniards".

It calls for the centuries-old tradition, branded barbaric by animal rights groups, to be declared an "asset of cultural interest", which would give bullfighting greater legal and financial protection.

The lower house of parliament voted to allow a debate on the proposal, with 180 votes in favour, 40 against and 106 abstentions.

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