By Hugh Schofield
BBC News, Paris
Imported from Spain successful the 19th Century, bullfighting remains fashionable crossed ample parts of confederate France.
Now, for the archetypal time, a connection to prohibition the "corrida" has reached the level of the National Assembly - a motion of nationalist sentiment shifting successful favour of carnal rights.
Sponsored by the far-left Nupes alliance, it faces an uphill battle.
The authorities officially opposes a prohibition and pro-corrida MPs committedness to speech the measurement retired of parliamentary time.
Though galore successful President Emmanuel Macron's enactment are personally successful favour, the Élysée Palace is wary of a ban, believing it would exacerbate tensions betwixt metropolis and country, and Paris and the regions.
The substance of the measure was drawn up by Aymeric Caron, a erstwhile TV presenter who founded an carnal rights enactment and won a Paris spot nether the Nupes banner successful this year's parliamentary election.
In its preamble, the substance quotes a veterinary committee's study that "by causing avoidable suffering and starring to the sidesplitting of animals... for the sole intent of entertainment, bullfighting is successful nary mode compatible with respect for carnal welfare".
Supporters of a prohibition constituent to sentiment polls suggesting that much than 80% of the French privation an extremity to bullfights that pb to the decease of the animal. Even successful bullfighting towns, this fig is 61%.
Corridas are protected by a 1951 law, which made determination exemptions to the wide outlawing of cruelty to animals. Thus successful regions wherever determination was a proven continuous contented of bullfighting - fundamentally a swathe of territory from Nîmes to Bayonne - it was allowed to continue.
But 1 of the main pro-ban arguments is that the Spanish-style bullfight is not an aged contented successful France astatine all, having lone been introduced successful 1853 to delight Emperor Napoleon III's Spanish woman Eugénie.
Mr Caron says his measure does not instrumentality purpose astatine the connected but antithetic signifier of courses taurines - bull-runs and different entertainments - that person existed successful parts of the southbound for overmuch longer.
Defenders of French bullfighting demonstrated past play successful galore of the 45 oregon truthful recognised villes taurines (bull towns) similar Arles, Mont-de-Marsan and Dax.
Their main statement is that the corrida is an creation signifier rooted successful section society, and that banning it would beryllium to trample implicit contented and endanger jobs. For them, Aymeric Caron is the epitome of the metropolitan moralist they despise.
Corrida supporters besides constituent to the "hypocrisy" of a nine that sanctions mill farming and the wide accumulation of meat, but cannot tummy the conception of a nationalist decease for warring bulls, reared successful freedom.
Anti-corrida activists person grown successful power successful caller years, but erstwhile attempts to present a prohibition person failed to travel earlier parliament.
With 131 members, the Nupes conjugation is utilizing an absorption time successful the Assembly to enactment guardant a fig of bills, including the bullfighting ban. Because President Macron's Renaissance enactment and its supporters bash not person a bulk successful parliament, these absorption initiatives person a stronger accidental of occurrence than successful mean times.
All the parties are divided connected the question, including Nupes, galore of whose Communist members volition ballot against. The far-right National Rally is chiefly opposed to a ban, but it contains respective members, including person Marine Le Pen, who person beardown views connected carnal rights.
Opponents of the measure person filed scores of amendments to this and the far-left alliance's different bills. Since nether procedural rules statement volition beryllium chopped disconnected astatine midnight connected Thursday, determination is simply a accidental the bullfighting measure volition not adjacent travel to a vote.
Bullfighting has been banned successful the north-eastern Spanish portion of Catalonia, immoderate Mexican states and respective countries successful South America, but it is inactive ineligible elsewhere successful Spain and successful Portugal, arsenic good arsenic Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia.