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Traditional Bosnian Bullfights Undergo Important Rule Changes

A traditional bullfight was held on June 2 in the Bosnian village of Preocica (about 75 kilometers northwest of Sarajevo) in front of about 4,000 spectators. Around 30 bulls from across Bosnia-Herzegovina fought for cash prizes and bragging rights. The main organizer of the "corrida" was Esad Patkovic, whose bull Rogesa lost in the final against Baron, owned by Ante Josipovic from Vares.

Such bullfights bring together Croats, Bosniaks, and Serbs and they are conducted without nationalistic or ethnic incidents.

These bullfights, which used to begin with the bull being beaten and ended with the animals being seriously injured by sharpened horns, are now more animal friendly after the rules changed as part of a package of reforms tied to Bosnia's efforts toward European Union membership. The bullfights today resemble more an instinctive fight for dominance. No blood is shed, and many of the bulls leave the arena of their own accord. (9 PHOTOS)

An owner watches two bulls taking part in a bullfight in the village of Preocica.
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An owner watches two bulls taking part in a bullfight in the village of Preocica.

People watching a bullfight.
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People watching a bullfight.

A judge checks a bull's horns to make sure they have not been sharpened.
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A judge checks a bull's horns to make sure they have not been sharpened.

Two bulls take part in a bullfight.
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Two bulls take part in a bullfight.

The owners of bulls wait before the fights.
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The owners of bulls wait before the fights.

The owner of a bull waits for a fight at the arena's box office.
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The owner of a bull waits for a fight at the arena's box office.

People watch a bullfight in front of the commentary cabin.
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People watch a bullfight in front of the commentary cabin.

People dance on the sidelines of the bullfight.
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People dance on the sidelines of the bullfight.

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