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Spanish TV in u-turn as it plans to start airing live bullfights again


Spain's state television is to start airing live bullfights again after the new conservative government lifted a six-year ban on the tradition that has been hard hit by declining popularity and the economic crisis.

The first fight will be broadcast on the widely watched RTVE this evening from the northern city of Valladolid.

The move marks a victory for pro-bullfighting campaigners who saw fights prohibited this year in the north-eastern region of Catalonia - and a defeat for animal rights activists, who denounce bullfighting as barbaric.

The live transmissions were halted in 2006 by Spain's previous Socialist administration, which claimed they were costly and coincided with youth TV viewing hours.

The Socialists lost power last year, and new Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy is a bullfighting fan.