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Outrage As Bullfights Return To Spain For First Time Since Lockdown

Niamh Shackleton


Warning: graphic images

Outrage As Bullfights Return To Spain For First Time Since LockdownPen News

Bullfighting has returned to Spain for the first time since lockdown, despite hopes the pandemic would bring an end to the cruel sport.


Annual bullfighting events had ground to a halt in Spain following the ongoing health crisis, and while some people campaigned for its return, footage of the event showed a largely empty stadium.

The blood sport is currently banned in several countries including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Italy and the United Kingdom, but still takes place in Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador.

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The gruesome footage taken by campaign groups Animal Guardians and Torture Is Not Culture in Avila, Spain, is a sad reminder how cruel the sport is. The video shows a distressed and dying bull with the matador’s sword protruding from its back.


Speaking about its return, Marta Esteban Miñano, from Animal Guardians, said: 

The bullfighting lobby has been clamouring for months, asking for public money and demanding to be able to hold a bullfight. And what happened? It has been a total failure, the alleged fans have not responded.

Referencing the pandemic, Carmen Ibarlucea from animal rights group La Tortura No Es Cultura (Torture Is Not Culture) said, ‘Have we not already had an overdose of death and pain in these past months?’ As of today, July 29, more than 28,000 people have died in Spain from coronavirus.

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While the pandemic will have affected the bullfighting business, it appears the sport’s popularity was declining years before the ongoing health crisis.

In 2018, Spain only hosted 1,521 bullfights, which was a historic minimum for the country, reported ForbesOn top of this, government figures found only 8% of the population attended a bullfighting spectacle that year.

The same national survey showed that 65% of Spaniards had an interest of between 0 and 2 out of 10 in bullfighting. This view was largely held by the country’s younger generation.

Carmen Ibarlucea said, ‘The numbers speak for themselves: in Spain, those of us who reject bullfighting are a large majority.’

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The awful events are already funded by government money, but now officials of the sport are asking for more in the hope of saving it – something Marta Esteban Miñano from Animal Guardians is strongly against. She said, ‘How can this cruel bankrupt business continue to be subsidised with public funds? This is a waste of Spanish and Europeans’ taxes at a time of great need.’

With an evident decline in popularity of the bloodsport, hopefully we will see an end to the barbaric events rather than the lives of defenceless animals.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Animals, Bullfighting, News, Now, Spain, World News


  1. Forbes

    Will Bullfighting Survive The Next Decade In Spain?

Niamh Shackleton
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