Bullfighting has become a topic of controversy in recent years, as many individuals have been outspoken about the slaughtering of animals for entertainment purposes. In Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, there have been numerous efforts to ban bullfights, none of which had been entirely successful until recently. Most opposition behind bullfighting comes from animal rights activists, who believe that the inhuman spectacle that is made of bullfighting is simply unethical and, furthermore, justifies the harsh treatment of animals for entertainment purposes.
One animal rights organization which is most active in the campaign for animal rights and the abolishment of bullfighting is the Asociación Defensa Derechos Animal (popularly known as ADDA). This organization is devoted to the defence and well-being of animals, with a strong emphasis on the abolition of bullfighting in Spanish society.
Between 2006 and 2010 ADDA organized numerous rallies throughout Spain in an attempt to lobby the government into abolishing bullfighting, collecting more than 250,000 signatures of residents of Spain who are also anti-bullfighting.
A survey completed in 2007 revealed that some 81% of individuals residing in Spain were opposed to bullfighting, and opted for the complete abolition of the event within Spanish legislature. The publishing of this survey mobilized many individuals and NGOs throughout the nation, who collectively began to lobby the current legislation surrounding bullfighting.
On September 22nd, the Catalan Parliament passed a law that will effectively support the discontinuation of bullfighting events within the region; they were the first region within Spain to do this, creating precedence throughout the country for future legislative changes to occur.
Little progress has been made in the abolishment of bullfighting in most regions of Spain; although since approximately 2000, the construction of new bullrings is not permitted, and until 2010, only one of the three bullrings present within Barcelona still remained open for bullfighting events.