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Portuguese lawmakers reject proposal to ban bullfighting

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's parliament has voted overwhelmingly against a bill banning bullfights, which are a traditional summer event.

A lone lawmaker with the People-Animals-Nature party tabled the bill Friday, but it earned just 31 votes in the 230-seat Republican Assembly, Portugal's parliament.

Unlike in Spain, bulls are not killed in the ring in Portugal, but are slaughtered out of sight afterward. The bull is jabbed with barbed sticks in the arena and taunted by 'forcados' who try to grab it.

Andre Silva, the animal rights lawmaker who authored the defeated bill, says bullfighting is torture.

Bullfighting supporters insist they have a constitutional right to cultural entertainment and say bullfighting has a long history in Portugal.

Though bullfighting events occasionally draw protesters, there is no groundswell of public opinion behind a ban.

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