Bullfighting ban: MP Aymeric Caron withdraws his text

The LFI MP behind this text criticized the parliamentary “obstruction”, before promising a new “trans-party bill”.


LFI deputy Aymeric Caron criticized the
LFI deputy Aymeric Caron criticized the “obstruction” in the National Assembly.

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I’The atmosphere was turbulent on Thursday in the National Assembly when LFI deputy Aymeric Caron criticized “the obstruction” against his proposal to ban bullfighting and withdrew his text. “This saddens me”, launched the Paris deputy when denouncing hundreds of “obstruction” amendments. “Cheers, be proud of yourselves,” he joked. It is “impossible” to reach “a final vote within the deadlines, that is, at midnight”, agreed Aymeric Caron, during this day dedicated to the texts of the LFI group. He promised in the future a new “transpartisan bill” to “abolish bullfighting”.

The withdrawal of his text provoked a rain of angry reactions and reminders of the rules of the Chamber. “They are running away from the debate” for fear of rejection of the text, accused LR Anne-Laure Blin, pro-bullfighting. At the beginning of these discussions, which were quickly interrupted, Aymeric Caron again spoke out against the “torture” of the bull and his “ordeal” in the arena. With the mission of demystifying this delicate subject, the Secretary of State responsible for Rurality, Dominique Faure, recognized that this “subject crosses the whole of society”. But the Government is opposed to the ban on bullfighting, an “ancestral tradition that contributes to the identity of certain territories”, he underlined. The bill was first rejected in committee on 16 November.

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The National Observatory of Bullfighting Cultures welcomed the fact that “bullfighting wins through abandonment”. The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, for its part, condemned the “obstruction” of the bullfights, a “deep shame for our chosen ones”. At times turbulent, the debate between the defenders of this “regional cultural tradition” and animal rights activists went far beyond the walls of the National Assembly, with demonstrations for and against bullfighting last weekend in bullfighting cities and in Paris.

“Basta” for “bullfighting”

Animalist Party and association L214: a hundred people demonstrated again on Thursday to say “enough” to the “bullfights” in the Assembly. “It’s torture,” said Emmanuelle Gaillard, a “citizen” of Clichy, on the outskirts of Paris. On the other side, 13 French bullfighters came to defend their practice near the Palais-Bourbon. On Wednesday, during a visit to the hall of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF), President Emmanuel Macron had ruled out an immediate ban. He defends the “conciliation” between “local customs” and “sensitivity” to the animal condition, instead of “injuries”.

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Aymeric Caron intended to modify the Penal Code, which punishes mistreatment of animals, but whose penalties under Article 521.º-1 “are not applicable to bullfighting when an uninterrupted local tradition can be invoked”. Bullfighting fans like Anne-Laure Blin (LR) claim an “art”, a “regional identity”, a “popular culture” and praise the “thousands of sanctuaries lands” thanks to the “breeding of wild bulls”.

The different parties divided

In committee, debate often focused on the controversial personality of Aymeric Caron, a former TV columnist. “Caron tensioned the debate instead of calming it down, he tensions it to give victory to those who insult us”, exclaimed an elected Macronist. In the various political fields, the matter was embarrassing and freedom to vote was necessary.

On the presidential side, before becoming head of the Renascimento group, Aurore Bergé had signed a platform to ban bullfighting. But another executive went against the wind: Jean-René Cazeneuve, elected from the Gers, bullfighting land. “After the bullfight, there will be foie gras, barbecue, snails, oysters […]we know the animal Caron”, he had launched.

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Marine Le Pen regularly shows her sensitivity to the animal cause, but the National Rally was split. RN Deputy of Gard Yoann Gillet directly addressed Aymeric Caron in his serial amendments against “seed eaters” and a law intended to “promote a man’s career”. While his colleague Julien Odoul supported the ban and “animal welfare”, “it doesn’t matter who is the author” of the text.

On the right, LR claims, for its part, above all the “defense of the bullfighting tradition”. On the left, LFI and environmentalists support the ban, as do most French people, according to polls. The PS is divided and the communists are very much against the ban.

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