A judge has reportedly extended a ban on bullfighting in Mexico City indefinitely, raising the possibility that the season will be canceled at the world's largest remaining venue.

The stadium known as the La Plaza Mexico issued a statement on Friday calling on fans to protest the ruling. The stadium encouraged bullfight supporters to post photos of themselves with the word "freedom" written on their hands. The company said it would appeal the ruling.

"The company will postpone the scheduled bullfights and novilladas and will continue with legal defense of Mexican customs and traditions, to the full extent the law allows," Plaza Mexico said in a statement as they firmly urged everyone to show support.

However, a higher court has already declined one appeal against the ruling. Further hearings must be held on whether to uphold the ban, or make it permanent.

There were five events scheduled at the La Plaza Mexico in April and May before being issued the provisional suspension order. There were no set bullfights for June. The first to be canceled due to the ban is the event that was scheduled for July 2.

The judge initially ordered a temporary ban in May, based on complaints that bullfights violated residents' rights to a peaceful and healthy environment free from violence and animal fights. Since 2013, four states in Mexico have already banned bullfights, and polls showed substantial support for a ban. A ban in Mexico City would be an international drawback for bullfighting.

According to previous announcements, bullfights had been set at the city's main professional ring in July and September. The court's decision threatens to mark the end of almost 500 years of historical bullfighting in Mexico.

In 2020, the Mexico City assembly's Animal Welfare Commission provided preliminary approval to a law banning public events "at which animals are subject to mistreatment and cruelty that result in their death." However, the bill never made it to a vote before the entire assembly.

Historians claimed that Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés witnessed some of the first bullfights in the city in the 1520s, soon after his 1521 Conquest of the Aztec capital.

Julian "El Julio" Lopez fights a bull in Tijuana, Mexico
Julian "El Julio" Lopez fights a bull during Gran Corrida De Toros at the Plaza Monumental Playas de Tijuana on April 24, 2022 in Tijuana, Mexico. In 1998, Lopez became became the youngest professional bullfighter in the history at aged 15. Photo by Sye Williams/Getty Images

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