‘Ban the bullfight’, say Stockport Council to French twin town

By Elaine O’Flynn

Bullfighting was told ‘adios’ by Stockport Council last week, as it called for a ban of the sport in its twin town of Beziers.

A unanimous motion was passed by all 65 councillors to write to the Mayor of Beziers in France, twinned with Stockport since 1975, and encourage it to ban the sport.

Conservative Councillor Linda Holt of Bramhall introduced the motion after hearing about the suffering of the animals taking part.

She said: “I’m really keen on raising awareness for any kind of animal cruelty, here and within our twin communities.

“I felt obliged to do my bit to stop this barbaric sport from taking place, and to bring home the suffering felt by the animals in the name of ‘tradition’.

“If bullfighting was going on in this country there’d be uproar. It’s comparable to harpooning seals or whipping horses for entertainment.”

The stand has been applauded by animal rights campaigners across the town.

Stockport resident and member of the League Against Cruel Sports, Elizabeth King, said: “Bullfighting belongs in the history books.

“The bulls are slowly tortured and then killed in the name of sport, and it’s about time we stopped using the excuse of ‘tradition’ and thought instead about the pain suffered by every one of the thousands of bulls killed.

“There are a lot of good things about France, but bullfighting isn’t one of them.”

However, the gesture made by Stockport Council will be less welcomed in Beziers, whose bullfighting spectacle every August attracts over a million visitors to the town each year.

Labour Councillor Andy Verdeille, who seconded the motion, said:  “I do believe it will be the final nail in the coffin of this barbaric practice.” 

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