25 Sep '11, 3am

Spanish matadors slay bulls for the last time in Catalonia before permanent ban takes effect next year

BARCELONA (AFP) - Spain's finest matadors will slay their prey in Catalonia's historic last bullfight on Sunday, a spectacle to be played out before 18,000 fans in a sold-out Barcelona arena. The unequal duel between man and beast on the sands of the century-old Monumental bullring is the final combat before a permanent ban takes effect in the northeastern region from 2012. A relief to animal rights activists, the ban is a bitter blow to bullfighting enthusiasts. Three matadors will spar with a total six bulls - two each - before putting the half-tonne, sharp-horned animals to the sword. In the Spanish tradition, a 'picador' riding a heavily shielded horse lances the bull behind the neck to make it drop the head slightly. Then, three 'banderillas' try to plant sharp, barbed sticks into its shoulders. Finally, the matador induces the bull with his cape to make a series of s...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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