Mexican Senators to Ban Bullfights

Mexican Senators to Ban Bullfights

Senators from the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, are working on legislation to ban bullfights and guarantee animal rights in Mexico, a lawmaker said.

The legislation, which will be introduced in the next session, would impose fines and jail time on violators, Sen. Maria de los Angeles Moreno, who is sponsoring the bill, said.

"Bullfights seem really thoughtless and savage to me," the senator said in a press conference on Monday.

Several groups, including Spain's Plataforma Prou, the Mexican Association for Animal Rights, or Amedea, and the Proyecto Proteccion Animal, have been consulted on the bill, Moreno said.

The legislation provides for the punishment of those who abuse animals, including pets, and it would create incentives for people to adopt pets instead of purchasing them.

Bullfights and cockfights "only generate cruelty and promote violence" in countries like Mexico, Plataforma Prou spokesman Leonardo Anselmi said.

Both society and lawmakers can bring an end to animal cruelty by banning bullfights, Anselmi said.

The bullfighting industry is in crisis because the public has been slowly moving away from such entertainment and the social backlash has grown, Amedea president Gustavo Larios said.

A fair solution is for Mexican officials to hold a referendum, as will be done next month in Quito, Ecuador, on whether events featuring the slaughtering of animals should be allowed to continue, Larios said.

"We need a legal framework that ensures the punishment of animal abuse, including keeping them in captivity. It's also necessary to promote love for animals in the schools," Proyecto Proteccion Animal coordinator Ivonne Corral said.

The Federal District's Legislative Assembly has been waiting for more than a year to vote on a bill that would ban bullfighting in Mexico City.

"There are many business interests that have prevented the abolition of this practice in the capital, but I can assure you that there are many legislators and citizens who want to end it," Larios said.

April 26, 2011 / Foxnews

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