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Ecuador Seeks to Ban Bullfighting

President puts it to a referendum

Bullfighters in Ecuador take to the streets to protest a potential ban on their “tradition”

Hard on the heels of the Bolivian government banning animal acts in circuses, the government of Ecuador has proposed a law that would enable cities and counties to ban bullfighting.

The proposal will be put to the whole country in a May referendum.

It’s unclear how much support the proposal has. The bullfighting industry is mounting a full-dress campaign (literally) to defeat the proposal. Hundreds of matadors and picadors and toreros and banderilleros have taken to the streets in full costume, along with their supporters.

A “yes” vote would allow municipalities to ban bullfights for reasons of “avoiding spectacles that kill animals for diversion.”
Exactly what would be banned is a bit confusing. In January, President Rafael Correa said that the measure covered cockfights as well as bullfights.

But then, in February, he said in a radio interview that “the question… concerns spectacles in which the goal is to kill the animal. Cockfights are not affected by this problem and will be allowed.”

Most people, however, and on either side of the issue, would agree that killing the other chicken is precisely the goal of the operation.

Whatever the outcome, it’s a positive step forward for all who believe that cruelty to animals should no longer be considered a sport, a tradition, an art or a form of entertainment.