Court Challenge to a Bullfighting Ban in Spain

MADRID-- Recent legislation banning bullfighting in a region of Spain was challenged by a major political party in court on Thursday.

Pio Garcia-Escudero, spokesman for Spain's Popular Party, said the appeal to the Constitutional Court argues that legislators in the powerful northeastern region of Catalonia violated several articles of the Constitution. They include the right to attend cultural events, artistic liberty and rights of bullfighting businesses in the area, he said.

Catalonia's parliament banned bullfighting in July because of its alleged cruelty to animals. The ban takes effect in 2012.

Speaking for his conservative opposition party, Garcia-Escudero said although Spain's regional governments had control over bullfighting they could not prohibit it.

The Constitutional Court can take months or years to make decisions.

Bullfights, and the bull runs that often precede them, have become the focus of debate since Catalonia became the second region to ban such fights after the Canary Islands in 1991.
The Popular Party has campaigned for nationwide protection of bullfighting.