MADRID (AP) — Spanish lawmakers have voted to ban the spearing to death of bulls at one of the country’s goriest spectacles.

Wednesday’s decision by lawmakers in the Castile and Leon region confirms an earlier government decree to prohibit bull killing at September’s annual Toro de la Vega festival in the town of Tordesillas 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Madrid. The vote does not affect traditional bullfighting in the region.

During the centuries-old festival, men on horseback traditionally have chased a bull and speared it in front of onlookers. The event has attracted increasing protests in recent years by animal rights activists.

Bullfight and bull spectacle supporters who demonstrated Wednesday outside the regional parliament argued that the ban would violate the cultural heritage of Tordesillas and Spain.

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