BULLFIGHTING fans have gathered in Catalonia to watch the final fight before a controversial regional ban comes into effect.

Three of Spain’s top matadors, including Jose Tomas, performed in the sold-out show at Barcelona’s Monumental ring on Sunday.

The evening ended with the matadors being carried shoulder high into the surrounding streets, as scuffles broke out between pro- and anti- bullfighting groups.

The legislation – passed by Catalonia’s parliament in July 2010 following a petition by animal rights campaigners – will not be enforced until January.

But with no other fights scheduled for the season, fans took the opportunity to grab sand from the ring as a souvenir of what was an historic night for the region.

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