Europe

Spanish lawmakers ban bull-spearing at Tordesillas festival

  • FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012 file photo, men holding spears riding horses next to a bull during the 'Toro de la Vega' bull spearing fiesta in Tordesillas, near Valladolid, Spain. Regional Spanish lawmakers have voted to ban bull killing at town festivals in a measure that will stop the animals from being speared to death at one of the country's goriest spectacles. The centuries-old event about 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Madrid drew increasing protests in recent years, with animal rights activists denouncing it as brutally cruel. (AP Photo/Israel Lopez, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012 file photo, men holding spears riding horses next to a bull during the 'Toro de la Vega' bull spearing fiesta in Tordesillas, near Valladolid, Spain. Regional Spanish lawmakers have voted to ban bull killing at town festivals in a measure that will stop the animals from being speared to death at one of the country's goriest spectacles. The centuries-old event about 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Madrid drew increasing protests in recent years, with animal rights activists denouncing it as brutally cruel. (AP Photo/Israel Lopez, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012 file photo, men holding spears riding horses next to a bull during the 'Toro de la Vega' bull spearing fiesta in Tordesillas, near Valladolid, Spain. Regional Spanish lawmakers have voted to ban bull killing at town festivals in a measure that will stop the animals from being speared to death at one of the country's goriest spectacles. The centuries-old event about 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Madrid drew increasing protests in recent years, with animal rights activists denouncing it as brutally cruel. (AP Photo/Israel Lopez, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012 file photo, men holding spears riding horses next to a bull during the 'Toro de la Vega' bull spearing fiesta in Tordesillas, near Valladolid, Spain. Regional Spanish lawmakers have voted to ban bull killing at town festivals in a measure that will stop the animals from being speared to death at one of the country's goriest spectacles. The centuries-old event about 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Madrid drew increasing protests in recent years, with animal rights activists denouncing it as brutally cruel. (AP Photo/Israel Lopez, File)  (The Associated Press)

Spanish lawmakers have voted to ban the spearing to death of bulls at one of the country's goriest spectacles.

Wednesday's decision by lawmakers in the Castile and Leon region confirms an earlier government decree to prohibit bull killing at September's annual Toro de la Vega festival in the town of Tordesillas 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Madrid. The vote does not affect traditional bullfighting in the region.

During the centuries-old festival, men on horseback traditionally have chased a bull and speared it in front of onlookers. The event has attracted increasing protests in recent years by animal rights activists.

Bullfight and bull spectacle supporters who demonstrated Wednesday outside the regional parliament argued that the ban would violate the cultural heritage of Tordesillas and Spain.