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French lawmakers dropped a proposed ban on bullfighting amid a lack of support for the bill and opposition from southern regions in France where the sport is popular, Local France reported.

The lower house of parliament was set to vote on the bill this week. But Aymeric Caron, the lawmaker behind the legislation, withdrew it after other legislators filed more than 500 amendments that would obstruct the vote.

The bill would have amended an existing law that penalizes animal cruelty – but allows for bullfights. These exemptions are granted to certain southern French towns, which rely on the bloody sport for tourism and see it as part of their tradition.

While public opinion favors the ban, observers noted that many lawmakers would reject the bill over fears of stirring up the bullfighting heartland.

Many of the so-called “bull towns” also protested the bill, saying that it was hypocritical when factory farms and industrial slaughterhouses are overlooked.

Previous attempts to outlaw bullfighting have failed, with judges consistently rejecting animal rights groups’ lawsuits, most recently in July 2021 in the town of Nîmes.

Meanwhile, the debate over the ethics of killing animals for amusement goes on in other countries with a tradition of bullfighting, including Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.

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