French attempt to ban bullfighting fell under “obstruction” in parliament

An attempt to ban bullfighting in France was abandoned on Thursday after a bill that would have made the blood sport illegal was withdrawn by the campaigning left-wing lawmaker behind it.

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Aymeric Caron of the left-wing La France insoumise (France Unbowed) party blamed “obstruction” from other lawmakers who tabled more than 500 amendments to his bill, preventing a vote in the National Assembly.

The bill proposed amending an existing law punishing animal cruelty to remove exemptions for bullfights that could prove to be “uninterrupted local traditions”.

Almost 75% of French people support a ban on bullfighting, known as corrida, according to an Ifop poll in the Journal du Dimanche.

>> Bullfighting fans attend festival in southern France as opponents call for an outright ban

However, the proposed bill drew fierce opposition from supporters of the blood sport, who describe it as an ancient tradition that must be preserved.

Had it gone to a vote, it likely would have been rejected by a majority of lawmakers wary of stirring up bullfighting hearts in the southern part of the country.

“We must move towards a settlement, an exchange,” President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, adding that he did not expect the bill to pass.

“From where I sit, this is not a current priority,” he added.

His government had urged members of the ruling centrist coalition not to support the bill sponsored by the left-wing opposition, although many members are known to personally favor it.

(Axadle with AFP)

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