BULLFIGHTS in the Balearic Islands will be shorter, bloodless and only for adults under new regulations that also ban alcohol in the bullring.

A majority of politicians in the islands’ regional parliament approved the so-called “Balearic-style bullfighting” bill, which requires anti-doping tests for both matadors and bulls. The bill, which also states that each bullfight should last for 30 minutes maximum, will effectively reduce from six to three the number of bulls traditionally pitted against matadors at each event.

Conservative deputies who opposed the law said promoters would find it impossible to hold any fights under the new restrictions. Critics said making the blood-free ‘corridas’ profitable will be a challenge since the law also carries insurance requirements and fines up to 100,000 euros (£89,000) if animals get hurt or spectators under the age of 18 are found in the venue.

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Opponents say the bill is at odds with the protection the Spanish Constitution grants to bullfighting as part of the national cultural heritage.

Popular Party deputy Miquel Jerez said the central government would be seeking to overturn the regional legislation.

Humane Society International, an animal rights organisation, hailed Monday’s move by the islands’ parliament as “a very satisfying victory for compassionate policy-making”.