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Spain's National Broadcaster Bans Bullfighting

Spanish matador Javier Cortes performs with a Jose Vazquez ranch bull during a bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Spain, Friday, May 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza
MADRID - Spain's leading broadcaster says it will no longer show the country's centuries-old tradition of bullfighting in order to protect children from viewing violence.

RTVE lists its new ban on transmitting bullfighting programs under a chapter called "Violence with animals" in its latest stylebook and says it "will not broadcast bullfighting."

One of the reasons given by RTVE - Spain's state network - is that bullfights "generally coincide with hours protected or specially protected for young viewers."

Spain has seen a fierce debate over the blood-soaked pageant that has fascinated artists and writers from Goya to Hemingway.

In July, the influential northeastern region of Catalonia became the second Spanish region to ban bullfighting, joining the Canary Islands, which outlawed the practice in 1991.