Queretaro, Mexico - Civil organizations said last Sunday that they have collected 6,000 signatures in an effort to reverse the Queretaro state government’s decision to declare bullfighting an "Intangible Cultural Heritage."
Bullfighting, a long-held tradition in Mexico, has been a source of debate in the past several years as animal rights and other activists call the sport, which includes taunting bull with spears and barbs before finally killing the animal, inhumane.
Defenders of the tradition point to its many cultural aspects including art, theater, dance and music, and its historic significance for the nation.
The decision was approved by the state congress last December, with 22 votes in favor, one against, and two abstentions, sparking outrage from animal rights activists and environmental groups.
Although the state government has already published the decree in its official gazette, the Diario de Arteaga, anti-bullfighting organizations are considering taking legal action to reverse the declaration.
The chairman of Queretaro’s Anti-Bullfighting Organization, Roberto Olvera Hernández, said that the 6,000 signatures collected so far as part of the "No Tradition Beyond Reason" campaign puts the group just over halfway to their final goal of 10,000 signatures.
"The state government has violated various articles of Citizen Participation Law," Olvera Hernández said. "Functionaries must include citizens in the decision-making progress, and they did not."The collection of signatures will conclude this week and the organization will be taking other actions to try to convince state lawmakers to rethink their decision.