Olé! San Sebastian overturns bullfight ban

Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones - [email protected]
Olé! San Sebastian overturns bullfight ban
San Sebastian's new council is to reverse the ban on bullfights. Photo: Alberto Simon/AFP

The new administration of the northern Spanish city of San Sebastian is to reintroduce bullfighting, three years after it was banned.


One of the first things the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and Basque Socialist Party (PSE) have done since winning power of San Sebastian’s city council in recent local elections is reintroduce bullfighting to the Basque city.

The move marks an end to the ban brought in by outgoing leftist pro-independence coalition, Bildu, which banned bullfights three years ago, the last one taking place in August 2012.

Bildu’s leader and the outgoing mayor of San Sebastian, Juan Carlos Izagirre, banned bullfighting from the city’s Illumbe bullring.

"Bullfighting is not the backbone of our fiestas like it might have been decades ago," Izagirre said at the time, adding that he, "subscribed 100 percent to the anti-bullfighting discourse."

The PNV, who won power in San Sebastian with the support of the PSE, announced on Monday that bullfighting will make a return to the city during Semana Grande, the city’s annual festival that takes place every August.

Chopera Bulls, the company responsible for staging bullfights in the Basque city has announced six upcoming bullfights between August 12th and 17th. 

The government of Catalonia outlawed bullfighting across the northeastern region in 2011, a move claimed as a victory for animal rights although many saw it as a way of asserting independence from Madrid. 

France recently removed bullfighting from activities included on its cultural heritage list.


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