French court rejects bullfighting case: tradition is more important than cruelty

Bull is brutally killed during bullfighting event, photo: Syldavia via Canva
Bull is brutally killed during bullfighting event, photo: Syldavia via Canva

A French court on Monday rejected a case against bullfighting, saying local traditions were more important than concerns about animal cruelty.

The Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) had filed a case against bullfight organiser Lea Vicens and the city of Nimes, a bullfighting hotspot, saying the practice was “shocking and barbaric”.

But the court in Nimes threw out the case and ordered the SPA to pay 4,000 euros ($4,700) in legal costs.

France has laws against animal cruelty but bullfighting, which kills an estimated 1,000 bulls per year in the country, is exempt in places where it has been practised for a long time.

Trying to change the law, the SPA has brought several cases against bullfighting in cities where it’s popular, including Dax, Carcassonne, Bayonne and Beziers.

A court in Beziers acknowledged that the injuries deliberately inflicted on bulls caused them “great suffering” and should be qualified as “cruelty”. But it said animal cruelty laws did not apply to bullfighting.

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