In Chile, the question of the ban of rodeos is invited in the campaign

A rodeo during independence celebrations on September 18, 2021 in Melipilla.

AP - Esteban Felix

Text by: RFI Follow

1 min

The rodeo is the great national sport after soccer in Chile and, before the pandemic, it gathered hundreds of thousands of spectators each year.

A sport that is practiced particularly during the Chilean National Day, which takes place until Sunday evening.

But this practice is giving rise to more and more debate because animal rights associations consider it to be mistreatment. 

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With our correspondent in Santiago de Chile,

Justine Fontaine

I hope this year will be the last year of the animal abuse that we call the rodeo,

 " said last week, in an interview, one of the favorites in

the presidential election

in November, the former leftist student leader Gabriel Boric.

Opposite the political spectrum, the far-right candidate, José Antonio Kast, stages himself participating in rodeo training during his campaign.

Unlike in the United States, this involves two riders pushing a heifer or a young bull against a wall, in order to stop it in its tracks.

Petition and bills

But in Chile, more and more inhabitants are mobilizing against animal abuse, to the point that 180,000 people have signed a petition for the ban of rodeo in Chile, this sport which symbolizes the country's rural traditions.

And two bills were presented this month in this direction by a left-wing party and an environmentalist party.

While waiting for the law to change, animal rights activists are not confined to petitions: two years ago, several rodeo stadiums were targeted by arson a few days before the national holiday.

Messages calling for "

 justice for animals

 " were then found on the spot.

See also: In Chile, September 11 marks Pinochet's military coup in 1973

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