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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)