France declares bullfighting an “intangible cultural heritage”
France has become the first country in the world to recognise bullfighting as part of its cultural heritage.
The Ministry of Culture announced that bullfighting has been identified as an 'intangible cultural heritage' giving it the same status as tarte tatin (an upside-down apple tart) and fest-noz (a traditional Breton night festival).
The Ministry has stressed that the decision did not constitute "any form of protection, promotion or special moral bond," but animal welfare groups have widely condemned the decision.
A spokesman for UK-based animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports said: “This is an astonishing decision, and completely flies in the face of French public opinion. Bullfighting is a barbaric activity and has no place whatsoever in a modern, civilised society.”
The spokesman continued, “The next step could be to have bullfighting registered as a world cultural heritage with UNESCO. This would open the floodgates to even more subsidies from the European Union, which already props up the bullfighting industry to the tune of £37 million each year.”
Anti-bullfighting organisations are organising a demonstration against this decision at the Place du Palais Royal near the Ministry of Culture in Paris on Saturday 28th May.