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A Mexican court granted a temporary injunction against bullfighting in Mexico City, less than a week after the activity resumed in the capital following a ruling by the country’s top court, the latest twist in an ongoing legal battle between fans of the sport and animal rights groups, the Associated Press reported.

The legal saga began in May 2022 when a local court ordered an end to bullfighting at Plaza México in response to an injunction presented by animal rights defenders and advocates.

But in December 2023, the Supreme Court ordered the sport to resume in the capital while it continues to mull whether bullfights violate animal welfare rules, the central question in the case.

Following the top court’s ruling, thousands of fans witnessed the first bullfights in Plaza Mexico on Sunday. Six bulls were killed in Sunday’s fights, even as hundreds of animal rights advocates demonstrated against the spectacle outside the venue, the AP added separately.

But the spectacle lasted shortly after a federal court ordered fights to be suspended until Feb. 7, prompting organizers to postpone fights scheduled for Feb. 4-6.

Bullfighting is still allowed in much of the country, but its future in Mexico City remains uncertain amid ongoing litigation.

Animal rights groups say the fights negatively affect animal welfare while maintaining they also impact people’s rights to a healthy environment. However, ranchers and fans countered that a ban affects their rights and businesses, adding that it would impact a sector that generates about $400 million a year in Mexico.

Observers said animal rights groups have been gaining ground in the country in recent years: In some Mexican states, courts and laws have restricted the fights.

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