THE Spanish senate has voted in favour of legislation that will see bullfighting promoted and protected by the state.
The tradition will now be recognised as cultural heritage and public funds will be used to sustain the industry.
The senate’s decision follows a vote by the congress of deputies in October which also supported the legislation.
It was passed with 144 votes for, 26 against. More than 50 politicians abstained.
Animal rights groups have hit out at the decision, branding it cruel and torturous.
The Love Spain Hate Bullfighting coalition said: “This move to protect bullfighting is a cynical attempt by a desperate bullfighting industry to secure the future of this dying so-called ‘sport’.
Bullfighting is cruel and outdated and has no place in a modern society; culture stops where cruelty starts.”