THE decision of the Spanish Congress to protect bullfighting and grant it cultural heritage status has been condemned by international animal protection organisations.
The coalition of six organisations released the following statement: “Spain’s government has signalled its support for unacceptable animal cruelty and the allowance of public funds used to assist the blood sport.
This move is a cynical attempt by a desperate bullfighting industry to secure the future of this dying industry. Bullfighting is cruel and outdated and has no place in a modern society; culture stops where cruelty starts.”
Bullfighting is a business in decline in Spain and elsewhere. Dwindling attendance figures raise questions over the industry’s financial viability, and the public is not supportive of subsidies used to protect it.
A 2013 Ipsos MORI poll of Spanish citizens showed more than three quarters of the Spanish population opposed their taxes being used to support bullfighting.
The final text will now be presented to the Senate where a vote is likely to take place later this month. Campaigners are encouraging Senators to oppose all moves to protect bullfighting.
The new legislation is not expected to affect the regional bans in place in Catalonia and Canary Islands. Spanish groups will launch a citizens’ initiative in 2014 to reverse the new legislation.
Humane Society International, World Society for the Protection of Animals, CAS International, League Against Cruel Sports, PETA and the platform Torture is not Culture will continue working to ban bullfighting.