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The release of doves at the passing of the Virgen de la Paloma is one of the hallmarks of Holy Week in Malaga. SUR
Junta plans to restrict the traditional release of 900 white doves during Holy Week procession in Malaga
Animal welfare

Junta plans to restrict the traditional release of 900 white doves during Holy Week procession in Malaga

The regional government in Andalucía is set to heavily regulate the La Paloma brotherhood event, following criticism from animal rights campaigners

Jesús Hinojosa

Malaga

Tuesday, 19 March 2024, 14:05

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The releasing of doves by members of the public - a popular tradition performed every Holy Wednesday in Malaga - is set to be scrapped this year following pressure from animal rights groups.

The Cofradía de la Paloma (Brotherhood of the Dove) tradition involved a procession of the Virgen through the city streets where dozens of doves would then be released into the air. Many of the birds were kept in cardboard boxes and handed out to anyone who wished to participate, before setting them free.

But SUR can confirm the Junta de Andlaucía will likely ban the tradition this year as it violates animal rights regulations. Instead, the brotherhood has agreed with the regional government's ministry of agriculture to release some white doves during the Semana Santa procession, but adhering to strict measures.

Fewer birds

While the exact agreement is due to be confirmed at Junta meeting on Wednesday, it is understood there will be considerably fewer doves released during this year's procession. Last year, some 900 birds from a Seville company were released although, once set free, many return to the premises of that company.

A careful selection of where release cages will be placed will also be another measure this year, such as areas where there aren't large crowds of people. This year's procession will start at 8pm and run through the night.

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