The climb of the Ternelles pine will take place this evening (Wednesday) in Pollensa's Plaça Vella, as is tradition on the day of Sant Antoni. There will be one major difference this year. The mayor, Miquel Àngel March, has banned the use of a cockerel. This is normally placed in a basket at the top of the pine and is one of the prizes for the first person who can reach the summit of the greased tree.
The Alternativa per Pollença, which raised the council motion seeking the prohibition, is concerned that a cockerel might somehow be sneaked in. The mayor's decision has caused a certain amount of controversy. The motion was in fact defeated, but the mayor insisted there would be a ban nevertheless, citing the need to comply with the 1992 animal welfare legislation.
The Alternativa therefore wants the local police to mount a guard in order to ensure that a cockerel isn't placed at the top of the pine, and if anyone manages to, the party insists that the town hall takes legal action against the perpetrator.
Previous experience with this type of ban suggests that someone might try and flout it. The use of ducks for the August fiestas swim in Can Picafort was banned in 2007. That year and for the next couple of years, real ducks were smuggled in alongside their plastic replacements.
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