• France's news in English

France rejects bullfight ban

AFP · 21 Sep 2012, 10:40

Published: 21 Sep 2012 10:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The council said it was not against the spirit of the constitution to allow the practice in some regions despite it being banned in most of the country.

France holds dozens of bullfights every year, with more than 1,000 animals killed annually in bouts that supporters defend as a local tradition and an important generator of tourism.

The council said the provision allowing bullfighting in the south was "precise, objective and rational", adding that "these traditional practices thus authorised do not infringe upon constitutional rights."

The anti-bullfighting group CRAC and animal-rights organisation DDA had asked the council to impose a nationwide ban by closing the loophole allowing the tradition to continue in southern areas.

Polls have generally indicated that about two-thirds of the French electorate would like to see bullfighting banned entirely, although the latest one published on Thursday found 48% in favour of a ban, 42% for the status quo and 10% with no opinion.

The sport has many passionate defenders, including Interior Minister Manuel Valls who enraged bullfighting opponents earlier this month by insisting it is a tradition that should be saved.

"It's something I love, it's part of my family's culture," said the minister who was born in Spain and moved with his family to France when he was a child. "It's a culture that we have to preserve."

Defenders have also pointed to the economic benefits of a sport that they say attracts large numbers of tourists to southern France, especially to hugely popular ferias in cities like Nimes and Arles.

Story continues below…

The Arles Easter Feria, for example, attracts 500,000 visitors over six days, each spending about €100 ($130) a day, according to Christian
Mourisard, the head of the city's tourist office.

Animal rights activists plan to continue their fight to have bullfighting banned, despite Friday's setback.

They are lobbying to have parliament enact a ban and are also considering a challenge to the practice through the European Court of Human Rights.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Homeless man does a runner from France's top restaurants
Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

"A man's gotta eat," he told police, after racking up gigantic bills in some of France's plushest restaurants.

Underwater museum hopes to make a splash in Marseille
A similar underwater museum piece by Jason deCaires Taylor. Photo: julie rohloff/Flickr

Don't forget your scuba gear...

Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Photo: Jacme/Flickr

Move over Paris...

And France's top chef of the year is... 'Monsieur Idiot'
Alexandre Couillon might have an unfortunate name, but he can sure cook!. Photo: AFP

Look beyond the name. He's the man who turned his family's humble "moules frites" joint into one of France's best seafood restaurants.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
Want to drive a scooter around Paris? Here's what you need to know
jobs available