Home Our Cultura History Historic Ban on Bullfighting Passed by Colombian Congress

Historic Ban on Bullfighting Passed by Colombian Congress

Historic Ban on Bullfighting Passed by Colombian Congress

In a historic move, the Colombian Congress approved the prohibition of bullfighting throughout the country. If signed by President Gustavo Petro, this ban will come into effect in three years, marking a significant victory for animal rights activists. 

Colombia has long been one of the five Latin American countries where bullfighting is allowed, alongside Venezuela, Peru, and Mexico, and Ecuador, where the practice is partially banned in some states and cities. Despite numerous attempts, similar initiatives had failed in the Colombian Congress over the past six years, making this week’s vote a landmark decision. 

According to The Associated Press, the bill aims to progressively eliminate “cruel entertainment with animals,” including bullfights, “corralejas” (where spectators face off against bulls), and spectacles involving calves and young bulls. “What we have here is a country that says there is no form of torture that can be considered culture in this world. Colombia sets an example for the entire world,” said legislator Juan Carlos Losada from the Liberal and Animalist Party. 

The Implications of Bullfighting in Colombia

The Congress mandated the Ministries of Culture and Environment to regulate, within two months of the law’s enactment, the conditions under which bullfighting would be practiced during the three-year transition period. These regulations are expected to enforce “the highest standards of animal welfare and protection.” Sergio Manzano, legal advisor for Colombia Sin Toreo, a coalition of animal rights advocates, told The Associated Press, “Colombia, a world power of life, cannot continue to allow cruel entertainment at the expense of animal suffering, much less hide behind torture.” 

The bill’s approval, however, has faced significant resistance from bullfighting supporters who argue that the ban would destroy a tradition dating back to colonial times and adversely impact culture and the economy.  

The approved bill also urges the government to pursue economic and labor conversion for those who depend on bullfighting as their primary livelihood. Additionally, bullfighting arenas will be transformed into venues for cultural and sporting events. 

Nevertheless, this legislative step signals a profound shift in Colombia’s cultural and ethical landscape, potentially setting a precedent for other countries in the region. 


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