According to this article bullfighting is allowed only within a small portion of France and also requires some public funding to be alive:

Bullfighting takes place in only 10% of the French national territory. Despite the fact that the penal code clearly recognises bullfights as “cruel acts and serious ill treatments towards animals” (article 521 -1), bullfighting is allowed to continue in this minority area as an ‘uninterrupted local tradition’.

The French bullfighting industry is kept alive by public funding. They receive money from towns and/or departements, regions, the State and Europe.

This dependence on public funds for bullfighting led to the City of Arles becoming 300,000 Euros in debt because of the 2008 Féria1 and to Bayonne’s 247,250 Euros debt in 2007.

On 22 April 2011, French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand officially inscribed bullfighting on a list enumerating the country's cultural heritage.

However, in 2015, a French court removed bullfighting from the country's cultural heritage list:

Animal rights campaigners in France cried victory on Friday after a court ruled that bullfighting should be taken off a national cultural heritage list.

Question: why bullfighting receives public funding despite being removed from cultural heritage list?

  • Animal rights campaigners nor some court have the right to obliterate the cultural expression of a group of peoples. – easymoden00b Jun 28 '17 at 18:15
  • 1
    @easymoden00b: in French law, freedom is not absolute and your freedom is limited by the freedom of others ("la liberte des uns s'arrete a celle des autres", as we say). Animals being part of "others", and what kind of rights they hold, is a vivid debate in France. The Parliement may decide someday that regional culture is not an excuse and forbid bullfighting on all territory. As a similar example, although it was integral part of the local culture, polygamy is forbidden in Mayotte since the island had been integrated to the Republic as an overseas department. – Taladris Jul 2 '17 at 14:47

In short, bullfighting is removed from the list of national cultural heritage, but it is still a regional uninterrupted cultural heritage. As such, it can still be subsidized by various institutions, at the regional, national and supranational levels.

Cruelty against animal has been a crime way before the court ruling of 2015. As such, animal fighting (bulls, roosters, dogs, ...) is forbidden on all French territory. With at least two exceptions due to a regional uninterrupted cultural heritage:

  1. Bullfighting in the Southern part of France near Spain.
  2. Rooster fighting in North of France.
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