MADRID has announced that it is contesting a law on the Balearic Islands which bans the killing of bulls in bullfights.

A spokesman for the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Friday that it was challenging ‘certain parts’ of the legislation, which was adopted last year and hailed by animal rights groups.

“The autonomous community doesn’t have in its mandate the specific power to protect animal rights,” said Inigo Mendez de Vigo, from Madrid.

The new law does not outlaw bullfighting completely, but it forbids the use of ‘sharp implements that can injure and/or kill the bull,’ effectively outlawing the animal’s slaughter.

It also limits the number of animals that bullfighters can spar with to just three,  and give a maximum duration of ten minutes per bull.

It also forces bullfighters and animals to take anti-doping tests before and after the corrida, and allows only people aged 18 and above to watch.

Restrictions and bans have increased across the country as a growing number of Spaniards see the sport as a cruel spectacle.

These restrictions however, have often come up against strong resistance from supporters who see the tradition as an integral part of Spanish culture.



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