a village in Gers is defending this tradition in the face of a bill to ban it

In Seissan, a village in the Gers, bullfighting has been a tradition since the 1970s, when the first arenas were built. Since the proposal of a representative to ban bullfighting, opinions are divided. Between the freedom to preserve local culture and unbearable animal suffering, the debate promises to be heated.

1972, fifty years ago since this village of 1,000 inhabitants in the Gers celebrated bullfighting every first weekend of September. The Soleil d’Or arenas in the heart of the city’s Théâtre de Verdure welcome thousands of enthusiasts on this occasion to indulge their passion.

A passion at the center of debates since Aymeric Caron, deputy LFI (La France Insoumise – NUPES) from Paris filed a bill in the National Assembly that aims to ban bullfighting. Meeting on Wednesday, November 16 at the committee, Irepresentatives vote against bill brought by deputy LFI. The proposal will be examined on November 24, but until then, debates between supporters and detractors in the ranks of the assembly, as in the departments concerned, have been relaunched.

A land of bullfighting tradition, the Gers department has 21 arenas including 6 plazas that host bullfights or novilladas. In Seissan, the village is no exception to this tradition. Since 1970, when the first building was created and replaced in 2008, the mayor is proud to continue the traditional culture of bullfighting. The inhabitants of the Gers will not be reduced against 77% of the French who are against bullfighting.

François Rivière (SE) remembers that he contributed to the construction of the first arena in the village. “We young people were 18 at the time, we loved bullfighting. We had always known the cows of the Landes, the bulls in front of which we would run and bullfights. For us, it was a real local that culture”.

In 2005, his municipality responded to a European call for tenders for the creation of a public center for the performing arts. In 2008, new 1,200-seat arenas replaced the old wooden arenas at the Théâtre de Verdure du Soleil d’Or. “Here we practice the races of the Landes, novilladas with the killing of bulls as is done everywhere in the Southwest. The public comes in large numbers, only those who want it come, we are in a country of tolerance in these works”defense of the mayor. “More than bullfighting the feria, the bandas and the party were created around the values ​​of bullfighting”.

Regarding the bill tabled by LFI in the assembly, the elected official wondered.

“I was surprised, because for LFI the ban is illegal. We are a minority except locally where we represent a large majority. If we allow bullfighting, then everything will follow: force-feeding geese, hunting of wood pigeon or wild boar. . In hyper-rurality (20 inhabitants per km²), we want to continue to live in our country in the middle of the values ​​we like and free”.

The president of the Région Occitanie, Carole Delga, also spoke on this topic on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 with our colleagues from franceinfo.

I am for people who have a choice whether or not to go to bullfighting. Bullfighting is a strong tradition, especially in Occitania. (…) It is important to leave free choice. I have had enough of this society of prohibition and imprisonment.

Carole Delga – President of the Occitanie Region

find a balance

The draft law and the question of bullfighting also caused a reaction within the Gers Departmental Council. In the voice of its president Philippe Dupouy who responded through a press release on November 17.

“My duty is to listen to all the inhabitants of Gers, to consider their aspirations, their beliefs, even if they are different, even if they conflict. (…) The balance to be found between different, often conflicting sensitivities, is not easy.

The evolution of some of our ancient practices should not lead us to deny our heritage, or make those who live by them feel guilty, at the risk of further dividing us. By working on this balance we can find the answers that best suit these developments.”

From July 2, 1850, because of the cruelty done to war horses, the Grammont law was the first to punish the mistreatment of animals in public.

People today protect bullfighting, protect violence, enjoyment of animal cruelty, sadism, but certainly not a local tradition.

Georges Nosella – Collective Gers Corrida Abolition

For Georges Nosella of the Collectif Gers Corrida Abolition, it is important to legislate. “It is 172 years that the animal must be protected everywhere in France, whatever it is. Whatever the tradition, it must evolve. This privilege of a bourgeois elite is a derogation from a law of protection of animals from the Second Empire, from the time of Empress Eugenie. Yes the bull suffers in a bullfight, the vets say so, so this activity cannot be protected under this standard”, he concluded.

Saturday, November 19, 2022, opponents and enthusiasts will face their ideas in demonstrations planned for that day:

    • The Wild Nature Occitanie Association is calling for action in support of this bill filed by Aymeric Caron. The rally will take place at 10:30 am in Toulouse, General de Gaulle square.
  • The bullfighting clubs of the Gers are in action in Auch at the foot of the monumental staircase at 11 am.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *