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Catalans make first move on bullfight ban

The Catalan parliament took a step yesterday towards what would be the first ban on bullfighting in a region of Spain, calling for an end to the traditional spectacle by 67 to 59 in an initial vote.

The move to ban bullfighting, to which many Spaniards are passionately devoted but which animal rights activists consider cruel, will now go to a final vote in March or April. The debate and first vote were triggered under Catalan law by a petition organised by Prou! (Catalan for "Enough") which collected more than 180,000 signatures.

The spectacle has been losing popularity for several years in Barcelona and the north-eastern region of Catalonia. Prou! has already said that if its campaign to end bullfighting is successful in Catalonia, it will take it to other regions in Spain where it is not so popular.