On 24th November 2022, the MP Aymeric Caron presented to the French National Assembly his awaited bill to ban bullfighting in France, but in the end, he had to withdraw it for tactical reasons. Each opposition group in France could submit to debate any bill but only up to midnight. At 5 PM, after a first bill presented by Mathilde Panot MP aiming to including in the Constitution the protection of the right to abortion was voted successfully, it was the turn of Aymeric Caron, a popular former TV journalist and animal rights activist recently elected to parliament. However, when 480 amendments were proposed to his bill, he realised that there would not be enough time to debate them all before the deadline at midnight. In consequence, he withdrew the bill hoping to present again it in the future.

Several hundred of the amendments presented were very absurd (such as banning bullfighting only if the temperature drops below 0° C or allowing it if the bulls were treated with painkillers), clearly designed to derail the parliamentary process.

Aymeric Caron clarified that he plans to reintroduce an abolitionist bill, but this time using another route that would not allow similar blocking. He plans to use the “week of assembly”, where the majority parliamentary groups (Renaissance, Horizons, Modem) can discuss proposals there, which can address cross-party issues and thus collect signatures from elected representatives of other groups with much more time available. 

While the French government has made it clear that it opposes banning bullfighting (which in France it is only allowed in the very south in municipalities where there has been a continuous tradition for many years) the abolition of bullfighting is what 87% of French people want, as polls have shown.

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’.