Spain’s Constitutional Court has ruled to overturn the ban on bullfighting that has been in place in Catalonia for almost five years.
The Court argued that the sport is part of Spain’s cultural heritage, and therefore could not be banned by local governments or even the semi-autonomous region of Catalonia.
The regional Catalan parliament voted to ban the practice, which remains popular in much of Spain, in 2010. Animal rights groups had gathered 180,000 signatures on a petition to ban bullfighting.
The moratorium has been in place since January 1 2012.
The move is not just about sport or cultural heritage, but may also inflame tensions that already exist between the northern state and Madrid.
The Catalan parliament has long been at odds with the central government of Spain, and will hold a referendum on independence in September 2017.
It follows a similar referendum in 2014, and widespread unrest concerning political deadlock in Madrid.
Also read Bullfighter’s homage and regret