Bullfighting in Barcelona comes to an end

With bullfighting banned in Catalonia from next year - and with Sunday's fight marking the end of the season in Barcelona - no Spanish fighting bull, or toro bravo as the breed is known, will be killed in the city in the name of sport or art in the foreseeable future.
20,000 seats were been sold out for the last bullfighting show a few days ago on September 25, as many people wished to be present for this historic moment. Some paid up to €3500 for a ticket to see the last program of bullfighting in Barcelona.
Critics of the ban have blamed the hand of Catalan nationalism. Deputies in the local parliament, they said, voted it through purely because bullfighting was emblematic of Spain and they wanted to differentiate Catalonia from the rest of the country.
''The parliament banned bullfighting because it is a Spanish fiesta, not to protect animals,'' one man told El Mundo newspaper. As the bullfighters paraded around the ring yesterday the crowd shouted: ''Liberty! Liberty!''
But activists and many locals said the ban reflected sensitivity to the needless suffering of animals in the name of entertainment.
''We are glad that the torturing of bulls in Catalan bullrings is over,'' said anti-bullfight protester Aida Gascon.