Kinder form of bullfighting proposed to avoid ban

Bullfighting in Catalonia has about as good a chance of survival as a 1,000lb bull in a ring, but amid the on-going parliamentary battle over a regional corrida ban, one party is still charging hard.

The Socialists of Catalonia have come up with an odd proposal to save the controversial tradition: bullfighting that incorporates the "dignified treatment of animals".

If accepted, the proposal would mean that a supposedly kinder version of bullfighting would survive in Catalonia with limits on how long the bull can suffer in the final killing, strictly delineated sword dimensions and the prohibition of drug use. The bulls would also have more opportunities to earn the now-rare indulto, or pardon, their only ticket out of the ring alive.

"The idea is for the bullfight to involve as little suffering as possible," David Perez, a deputy with the Socialist Party of Catalonia, told reporters.

The Socialist proposal is backed by the pro-bullfighting association, Platform for the Extension of the Fiesta, which formed to counter protests by animal rights activists in the wealthy, independent-minded Spanish region.

"The spectacle has to keep evolving and adapting to people's sensibility without losing its essence," the Platform spokeswoman Sandra Salas told The Independent. She referred to the Socialist proposal as a "sweetened death" formula. The measures, she said, might include an electric charge between the eyes to put a dying bull out of its misery – as opposed to the thrust of a fine knife to deaden the nerves.

The matador would have only a limited number of attempts at the stocada de muerte, or death knell, to the back of the neck. "If after two or three times the bull doesn't fall, he won't be able to continue," Ms Salas said. "We are optimistic that, rather than an outright ban, which would deprive fans, this proposal will prosper."

But Catalonia's powerful campaigners against bullfighting called the Socialist idea "a joke", especially in the face of the 180,000 citizens who signed a petition to put the bullfighting ban on the parliamentary agenda.

The fate of bullfighting is mostly in the hands of a nationalist Catalan party, whose deputies are expected to vote for the regional ban before the summer.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Content and PR

£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Mid / Senior

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...

Recruitment Genius: E-commerce Partnerships Manager

£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor