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Colombian lawmakers have approved legislation that will officially ban bullfighting in the country.

The bill, which passed with a 93-2 vote on Tuesday, marks the end of years of activism against the centuries-old tradition. Despite its historical popularity, televised bullfights and broad public support have waned, with changing views on animal welfare influencing public opinion. Colombia’s Constitutional Court initially acknowledged bullfighting as a cultural tradition in 2018, but major cities like Bogota and Medellin have already enacted measures to limit or ban the practice.


According to lawmakers, the government will assist tens of thousands of people who rely on bullfighting to fund their lives with assistance to find alternate employment. It will also implement a three-year phaseout period.

Liberal Party lawmaker Juan Carlos Losada said the ban represents a significant cultural shift within the country. He said, “The next generations will grow up in a country where culture will define things much more creatively than torturing animals for the amusement of a few insensitive people.”

However, supporters of bullfighting argue that the ban infringes on minority rights and threatens local economies dependent on the events. Matador Johan Andres Paloma, a famous bullfighter within the country, said his job was a “symbol of [his] identity.”


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