Corrida: justice suspends shows near Montpellier

It is a decision that will delight the defenders of the animal cause. The administrative justice put a stop Tuesday to the return of the bullfight in Pérols, in the Hérault, considering that no well-established tradition in this city made it possible to authorize shows with the killing of bulls. The administrative court of Montpellier thus “suspended” the execution of a deliberation of the municipal council of Pérols providing for the organization on July 15 of a “novillada, which opposes young bulls to young bullfighters, with the killing of bulls”.

Great victory for the Alliance @Anticorrida who attacked the deliberation authorizing the resumption of bullfights in Pérols. The administrative judge has heard us and suspends the deliberation until the case is judged on the merits, which may take some time…

— Anticorrida Alliance (@Anticorrida) May 16, 2023

The mayor of Pérols, Jean-Pierre Rico, announced in February the return of bullfighting to the arenas of this city near Montpellier and the neighboring seaside resorts of Carnon, Palavas-les-Flots and La Grande-Motte. Two ociations for the defense of animals, the “Comité radicale anticorrida” (Crac Europe) and the “Alliance anticorrida”, as well as three inhabitants of Pérols, had asked the administrative court to suspend the decisions of the municipal council.

The SPA hails a “turning point”

Ruling urgently, the administrative judge first recalled that “carrying out serious abuse or committing an act of cruelty towards an animal (…) is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros” . But he also pointed out that there is an exception: bullfights are permitted when an “unbroken local tradition can be invoked”. However, “no bullfighting show has been held on the territory of the municipality of Pérols since 2003, that is to say 20 years”, notes in this case the administrative judge. The green light for the return of bullfighting is therefore suspended “until it is decided on the merits of the legality” of the decisions of the municipal council.

The president of the Anti-Corrida Alliance, Claire Starozinski, hailed in a press release a “common sense decision”. There Humane Society (SPA) for her part, welcomed a decision which “marks a turning point in the history of a society which wishes to evolve while respecting animals”. Solicited by AFP, the lawyers representing the municipality of Pérols did not comment on this decision.

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