The Spanish debate over bullfighting has stampeded back into the public eye after Prime Minister Jose Zapatero‘s government ruled that it is “an artistic discipline” and thus the Ministry of Culture should be responsible for protecting, The Guardian reports.
The move came after the regional government in Catalonia banned bullfighting last year, calling it a “cruel and outdated” practice.
Juan Diego, a matador, said that he approved of the decision to move the regulation of bullfighting to the Ministry of Culture and told The Guardian that bullfighting is “a symbol of Spanish cultural heritage that shapes the national identity”.
Animal rights activists have criticised this move by the government.
Silvia Barquero, a spokesperson for anti-bullfighting group Pacma, told the Spanish newspaper Publico that the decision to give responsibility for bullfighting to the Ministry of Culture was a “a measure which sends us back to the Middle Ages”.
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