• The municipality of Pérols, in the metropolis of Montpellier, "deplores the material impossibility of obtaining a favorable decision on appeal within the deadlines".
  • On Tuesday, the administrative court of Montpellier suspended the municipal decree authorizing the holding of a novillada in the commune on July 15.
  • The interim relief judge considered that the commune did not have "uninterrupted local tradition" of bullfighting, a decisive element for authorising bullfighting on French territory. The organization of this novillada would therefore be criminally punished under "abuse and acts of cruelty to animals."

The mayor of Pérols (Hérault), Jean-Pierre Rico, deplores the decision of the administrative court of Montpellier, Tuesday, to suspend the organization in his city of a bullfight, mid-July. A controversial event, which will also be debated on June 1 before the judicial court at the initiative of the Anti-Bullfighting Alliance. The city "deplores the material impossibility of obtaining a favorable decision on appeal within the deadlines".

In February, Jean-Pierre Rico announced the future organization, in his arena, of a "novillada". This type of bullfight pits young bulls against young bullfighters, with the killing of bulls. He assures again that there is indeed in Pérols an "uninterrupted local tradition", a decisive element to authorize bullfighting on French territory. According to him, the city is located in the heart of a vast area, between the Basque Country and the Camargue, where bullfighting is part of the traditions.

The court denied any uninterrupted local tradition that could justify holding the bullfight.

The administrative court of Montpellier on the contrary noted Tuesday, that Pérols had not organized bullfighting show since 2003. He also denied the cultural influence of cities where bullfighting shows continue to attract thousands of people, such as Nimes or Béziers. The judges attached Pérols only to the urban area of Montpellier, of which Pérols is one of the thirty-one municipalities of the metropolis. For justice, it is therefore not one of the localities, among thirteen departments in the south of the France, making an exception to the prohibition of abuse and acts of cruelty to animals.

The city "reserves a week of reflection to decide whether to appeal or not", before the administrative court of appeal of Toulouse, says the director of cabinet of the mayor of Pérols, Malik Hamel. Given its urgency, the court, seized by two anti-bullfighting associations and several individuals, ruled in the context of a judgment in summary suspension. The decision on the merits is not expected for several months, too late for the bullfight to take place.

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