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Colombia’s Congress votes to ban bullfighting

Colombia’s Congress has passed a bill banning bullfighting across the Andean country from 2027.

The ban is the culmination of a vocal campaign by animal rights activists, who have long argued that the practice is cruel.

Bullfighting was introduced to Colombia by the Spanish during colonial times and became very popular, attracting thousands of spectators to watch major bullfights in cities such as Bogotá, Medellín and Manizales.

The bill still needs to be signed by president Gustavo Petro, but since he has supported the ban, it is considered a formality.

The President welcomed Congress’ approval, writing in X that “those who delight in the deaths of animals will eventually enjoy the deaths of humans, just as those who burn human”.

Bullfighting supporters have opposed the bill, saying it will deprive not only bull farmers of their livelihoods but also street vendors who sell their wares at bullrings.

To mitigate its impact, the bill would allow a three-year transition period in which people whose businesses are tied to bullfighting would be offered help finding alternative income.

The bill stipulates that future bullrings will be used for cultural and sports events.

Colombia is the latest country in Latin America to ban bullfighting.

Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay banned the practice more than a century ago, and there are bans in place in Brazil and Chile, among other countries.

However, it is still allowed in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

Mexico City imposed a ban in 2022 that was rescinded two years later.

More than 40,000 people flocked to watch the first bullfight held at the city’s largest bullring in the world since the ban was lifted.

In Europe, bullfighting is still held in France and Spain, although some cities have banned it.


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