San Sebastián to hold public vote over bullfighting ban

San Sebastián to hold public vote over bullfighting ban
Photo: AFP
San Sebastián is to hold a referendum on whether to ban bullfighting, its council announced on Monday.

San Sebastián could hold a referendum on banning bullfighting as soon as September after its city council approved a petition brought by an anti-bullfighting organization.

The mayor of San Sebastián, Eneko Goia, told Spanish daily El País that the vote could take place as soon as September, but a date had not yet been fixed.

The anti-bullfighting platform Orain! collected signatures from five percent of the city’s population; enough for the city council to call a referendum on the issue.

All the political parties on the city council, which is run by the Basque Nationalist Party and the Socialists, gave the green light to plans on Monday morning. It will be the first ever referendum on bullfighting in the city.

Goia indicated that the referendum will not take place until after the summer in order to not affect the bullfighting festivals or the city’s Semana Grande, a week-long festival held every August.

In a controversial move, bullfighting was reinstated in San Sebastian in 2015 when the Basque Nationalist Party and the Socialists returned to power.

It had been banned for the previous three years under the left-wing party, Bildu.

The Canary Islands banned bullfighting in 1991 and the northeastern region of Catalonia banned the practice in 2011, claiming it was a victory for animal rights.

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