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Mexico City: Judge extends ban on bullfighting indefinitely

Balletic dance of death

NEWS AND COMMENT-MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: This might be the beginning of the end of bullfighting in Mexico, where it has been present in Mexico City since the 1520s. Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes apparently watched the first bullfights in the city soon after his 1521 conquest of the Aztec capital. For animal advocates this is excellent news. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a shift among the general population worldwide towards better animal welfare which is very welcome to people like me. Although it is an incredibly slow process because animal abuse is deeply ingrained in the human psyche.

Balletic dance of death

Balletic dance of death. Photo: Fernando Llano, File.

Clearly the cultural habits of Mexico are also deeply ingrained but things are changing. A judge extended a ban on bullfighting in Mexico City indefinitely. There is a possibility that the bullfighting season will be cancelled. Mexico is the largest venue for bullfighting outside of Spain.

The stadium where it takes place is called La Plaza Mexico and the administrators are fighting back calling on fans to protest the judge’s ruling. They regard the judge’s injunction as curtailing their freedoms. No doubt they are conveniently ignoring animal welfare in their campaign to motivate supporters to fight on their behalf. Money beats animal welfare almost all the time which is why there is so much animal abuse worldwide.

The company that runs the stadium is going to appeal the judge’s decision. They’ve been forced to postpone the schedule bullfights and “will continue with legal defence of Mexican customs and traditions, to the full extent the law allows” they said in a statement. Just because they are traditions does not mean they should be continued. Customs become outdated and no longer culturally acceptable.

A court has rejected one appeal against the ruling. Further hearings are required to make the ban permanent. Although, it would take an act of the Mexican legislature to eradicate bullfighting from their country permanently. Judges don’t make the law they interpret it.

The judge originally ordered a temporary ban in May because there were complaints that bullfighting violated residents’ right to a healthy environment free from violence.

Four states in Mexico have banned bullfighting since 2013. Polls indicate that there is substantial support among the citizens for a ban. The largest venue for bullfighting is at Mexico City and a permanent ban there would be a setback for bullfighting aficionados worldwide.

In 2021, the Animal Welfare Commission of Mexico City’s assembly approved a law banning public events at which animals are subject to mistreatment and cruelty resulting in their death but it did not get off the ground.