Bullfighting, a rare topic “crossing partisan divisions” among MPs

“I hear them laugh when I moan and see them dance when I fall / I never thought we’d have so much fun around a grave”. Aymeric Caron took care to quote Francis Cabrell’s famous song in the preamble to the Bullfighting Prohibition Bill (PPL). An anti-species MP will use the parliamentary niche * La France insoumise * this Thursday to try to “abolish” what he considers “barbarism” on French soil.

Its text, already presented (and rejected) in the law commission last week, should once again provoke heated debate in the Hemicycle. With the measure unlikely to be voted down, bullfighting appears to be one of the rare transpartisan issues in the National Assembly.

Disagreements for Nupes

A little more than 90 rebel MPs and environmentalists have signed Aymeric Caro’s bill. In other political parties – and this is quite rare – there are both detractors and enthusiasts. Thus, banning bullfighting within the left is far from achieving consensus. As recently as last May, the Nupes stated in their program agreement regarding the legislative elections that “the Socialist Party and the French Communist Party will not support proposals related to hunting and bullfighting” and left these issues “to the wisdom of the Assembly.” .

Stéphane Peu, Communist-elect of Seine-Saint-Denis, believes that his group (Democratic and Republican Left) will vote against this text with a majority. “Behind this debate is the temptation of Caron and the anti-specifics to open the door to other bans, ritual slaughters or cockfights, which are especially advocated by our elected representatives abroad.” “I will vote against it, because I was shocked by Karo’s words, which equates the suffering of humans and animals.” Socialist MPs, for their part, appear to be divided.

“Subject of Society Transcending Divisions”

The right should vote against Aymeric Caro’s proposal with a majority vote. However, not all 62 people were selected. “There will be no pressure for a group vote, we will be two or three people. It is good to show that we are not there just to push a button, that the votes are personal beliefs, the nobility of politics, “said Eric Pauget. The elected LR from Alpes-Maritimes has been in favor of abolishing bullfighting for several years.

“It is not a political subject in the sense of city management, but a real subject of society that transcends partisan divisions,” he adds. There is a new sensitivity to the plight of animals across society, regardless of age or political persuasion. Therefore, I think that bullfighting will disappear in the short or medium term.” According to an Ifop poll published last week, 74% of French would be in favor of banning the practice, with clear majorities in each of the political camps.

The RN has difficulty finding a clear position

This perhaps explains the sometimes confused positions of political parties. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, which continues to claim to be an animal advocate, will also allow a free vote on the issue this Thursday. The four RN MPs from Garde have specifically indicated that they will oppose the PPL, as have the four elected representatives of the Pyrenees-Orientales or the Camargue MP Emmanuel Tache de la Pagerie. “I respect the opinions of my colleagues, especially those from the south [territoires où la corrida est toujours légale], but there is confusion. It’s not a targeted tradition, it’s just a reversal of the wild practice and the martyrdom of the bulls,” says Julien Odoul, RN elected from Yonne.

Proof of the division within her ranks, Marine Le Pen chose not to make a decision, defending the half-fig and half-grape position, i.e. the banning of bullfighting… for minors. “A balanced position because he is the candidate of all the French,” says Julien Odoul in disbelief.

Overloaded schedule?

The executive is equally embarrassed. In July 2021, before becoming president of the Renaissance group in the Assembly, MP Aurore Berge signed a platform to ban the practice, which it considered “barbaric”. In the committee last Wednesday, the Macronists deleted Aymeric Caro’s text, noting above all the “radicalism and caricature” of the former journalist. “After the bullfight, there will be foie gras, barbecue, snails, oysters: where do you stop animal abuse? “, whistled Renaissance du Gers, Jean-René Cazeneuve, to AFP.

The government will defend its delicate position on Thursday with the vote of Secretary of State for Agriculture Dominic Faure, who is superior to Eric Dupond-Moretti, the Keeper of the Seals, who is fond of bullfighting and more divisive. But will the text placed fourth on this LFI niche day have time to be voted on? More than 500 amendments have already been discussed. “Anti-democratic obstacle”, to condemn the rebels. The same introduced more than 19,000 amendments against the pension reform in 2020. Francis Cabrel might read, “Is this (political) world serious? »

* Parliamentary recesses are days set aside for opposition groups in the Hemisphere to allow them to defend bills.

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