Bullfighting has been banned in Catalonia, making it the first region of Spain to outlaw the widely cristiced form of entertainment.

Cheers broke out in the legislature after the speaker announced that the ban had passed and will take effect in 2012.

Campaigners against bullfighting have upped their protest in recent years, some even daring to confront matadors in the ring.

However, opinion in Spain isn’t clear-cut. Spectator levels in some regions have fallen dramatically, while elsewhere, new bullrings are being built to keep up with demand.

Critics of the Catalan bullfighting ban argue that it is less about the protection of animals and more about Catalonia’s desire to separate itself politically and culturally from the rest of Spain.

The bullfighting ban is a victory for animal rights groups, who see it as barbaric, outdated and unnecessary.