. Bullfighting was declared Cultural Heritage of Spain yesterday, with only the support of the Popular Party, the abstinence of the PSOE and the vote against of all the other parties.
Luckily, the new law only declares bullfighting as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ and does not oblige local administrations to do anything. It only encourages them to “ensure the protection and develop promotion measures.” This means autonomous regions can still ban bullfighting.
The law was originally presented in 2010, right after Catalonia banned bullfighting, and was intended to legally protect bullfighting from prohibition in Spain.
However, since 2010 the law suffered 57 amendments. Three fundamental objectives were taken out: the return of bullfighting to Catalonia, the protection of bullfighting from future prohibition and the declaration of bullfighting as a ‘Heritage of Cultural Interest’.
The government is now pushing to get the necessary paperwork to apply for the inclusion of bullfighting in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
International animal rights group AnimaNaturalis said in a statement: “We believe that bullfighting cannot be included in UNESCO’s list because it contradicts its fundamental principles. UNESCO’s 2005 Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights lists among its principles that ‘humans are an integral part of the biosphere and play an important role in the protection of others and other forms of life, specially animals.'”
Director of AnimaNaturalis Spain, Aida Gascón, said: “Bullfighting cannot be declared as Cultural Heritage of a country when practically the whole country rejects this cruel spectacle. The acceptance of UNESCO to include it to their list would be inadmissible.”