French bid to ban bullfighting dropped amid ‘obstruction’ in parliament

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to ban bullfighting in France was abandoned on Thursday after a bill that would have made the blood sport illegal was withdrawn by the campaigning left-wing lawmaker behind it.

Aymeric Caron from the left-wing party La France insoumise (France Unbowed) blamed “obstruction” from fellow lawmakers who filed more than 500 amendments to his draft legislation, which prevented a vote in the National Assembly.

The bill proposed modifying an existing law penalising animal cruelty to remove exemptions for bullfights that can be shown to be “uninterrupted local traditions”.

Nearly 75% of the French back a ban on bullfighting, known as corrida, according to an Ifop poll in the Journal du Dimanche daily.

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

However, the proposed bill prompted stiff resistance from supporters of the blood sport, who describe it as an age-old tradition to be preserved.

Had it been put to a vote, it would probably have been rejected by a majority of lawmakers who are wary about stirring up the bullfighting heartlands in the south of the country. 

“We need to go towards a conciliation, an exchange,” President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, adding that he did not expect the draft law to pass.

“From where I am sitting, 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, even though many members are known to personally favour it. 

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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