To the dismay of animal rights activists, deputies of the Mexican State of Nuevo León approved on 4th April 2022 a reform to the State Cultural Heritage Law establishing cockfighting and bullfighting as intangible cultural heritage in the state. The animal protection organization Unidos por el Bienestar Animal Nuevo León expressed outrage over the approval for not having consulted society first. 

The deputies voted also for allowing municipalities to be in charge of granting the authorization permits so that these types of activities can be held throughout the state. These include rodeos, jaripeos, horse races, cockfights and bullfights.

Only 30 votes of the 42 deputies were required for the passing of the motion. The deputies Jessica Elodia Martínez and Waldo Fernández of Morena, and the independent Consuelo Gálvez, abstained from voting. Iraís Reyes, Brenda Sánchez, Sandra Pámanes and Tabita Ortiz, from MC, and the coordinator of the PVEM fraction, Raúl Lozano, voted against the motion.

Brenda Sánchez said to El Sol de Mexico, “This Congress promoting the culture of violence manifested in animal abuse is making a true apology for crime, and even worse, under the false and gratuitous argument that it is part of our historical heritage as a people.” Iraís Reyes, described the reform as regressive, and said “This reform, endorsed by the majority of the Legislation Commission, represents a transgression of what the United Nations Peace and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines as intangible cultural heritage; a definition that is the guide for the various countries of the world to register with that Organization their respective intangible cultural heritage.”

Other states that have considered these cruel activities as intangible cultural heritage are Aguascalientes, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas. On the other side, the states where bullfighting is prohibited are Sinaloa, Coahuila, Guerrero, Quintana Roo and some municipalities of the State of Mexico, Veracruz and Michoacán. Mexico City is also considering a ban on bullfighting. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.