Sixty percent of Spaniards do not care for bullfighting, but nearly as many -- 57 percent -- oppose its banning in Catalonia, an opinion poll in the El Pais newspaper on Sunday suggests.
Fifty-eight percent thought its prohibition in the semi-autonomous region had more to do with bullfighting being "an exclusively Spanish festival," compared to 36 percent who thought animal welfare was the driving issue.
To the question, "Do you like bullfights?", 37 percent of those polled said yes, but 60 percent said no.
The survey of 500 adults, with a margin of error of 4.5 percent, appeared four days after Catalonia's parliament voted to outlaw bullfighting from January 1 in the separatist-minded region that includes Barcelona.
Catalonia becomes the first part of mainland Spain to ban the centuries-old tradition, after it was outlawed on the Canary Islands in 1991.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has said that his government would have "preferred" that Catalonia not outlaw bullfighting, but added that the issue should not be politicised.