BOGOTA – The Constitutional Court of Colombia repealed a ruling from 2017 which had declared bullfighting activities as animal abuse and which had ordered Congress to legislate on the issue within two years, the high court announced on Wednesday.
The abrogated ruling had prohibited all kinds of bullfighting and cockfighting in the towns where these activities were not culturally rooted, a source at the Constitutional Court told EFE.
One of the first effects from this court decision is that bullfighting will not be illegal from 2019 onward, as had been established in the previous ruling.
The Colombian Congress will also not have to legislate with respect to bullfighting activities as stipulated in the 2017 ruling, since it had a time frame until 2019.
The Colombian animal rights organization ALTO expressed its opposition against the court decision and said on Twitter that it was “to be expected.”
Colombia is one of eight countries in the world where bullfighting is still legal. A part of society considers it as a manifestation of violence and cruelty against animals, but others claim that such activities are iconic cultural events.
The bullring of La Santamaria de Bogota was closed down in June 2012 by order of the then mayor Gustavo Petro, who said that the place should be used for “life activities and not death.”
However, in September 2014 the Constitutional Court ordered the return of bullfighting to La Santamaria by ruling a writ of protection filed against Petro’s order in favor of the Bogota Bullfighting Corporation.