At the cry of “corrida basta” the demonstrators gathered in an arc symbolizing an arena, on the Place du Châtelet, in the center of the capital, asked to “relegate the bullfighting arenas to the oblivion of history”.

Four militants carrying horns, squatting with their heads down, flanked a young woman disguised as a bullfighter and carrying real banderillas, used to weaken bulls before they were put to death.

Criticizing the cultural or ecological issues put forward by the defenders of this activity, permitted by derogation in three regions in the south of the country, the demonstrators shouted “death is not a tradition, we want abolition”.

“The laws should be the same throughout the territory, it is not a minority that must impose its opinion on the majority,” said Marie-Anne Leneveu, of the Radical Anti-Bullfighting Committee (CRAC).

For Amandine Sanvisens, of the Paris Animals Zoopolis association, bullfighting enthusiasts are “cowards and sadists who create confusion between love and violence”.

The demonstrators support the bill tabled by the ecologist deputy Aymeric Caron, affiliated with France Insoumise (radical left).

Identical demonstrations take place on Saturday in 40 other cities, recalled Mr. Caron.

At the same time, demonstrations to say “yes to bullfighting” brought together several hundred people in several cities in the south of France.

“It is not bullfighting that is under attack, it is the whole of the diversity, the cultural richness of our regions (…), that is why we must not let go of anything”, commented the mayor of Mont-de-Marsan (Landes), Charles Dayot, during a demonstration which brought together around 300 people.

“The targeted attacks on bullfighting also relate to hunting, force-feeding and tomorrow perhaps alcohol,” castigated Michel Baylac, president of the Association of Mayors of France in the Gers.

Aymeric Caron’s bill, rejected in parliamentary committee, will still come on November 24 before a hemicycle where the subject divides all political sides.

The government will be represented in the debates by the Secretary of State in charge of Rurality, Dominique Faure, rather than the Keeper of the Seals Eric Dupond-Moretti, passionate about bullfighting and therefore more divisive.

The bill received the support of former actress Brigitte Bardot with her foundation for the animal cause.