4 Jan, 2010 @ 12:01
1 min read

Lack of bull market saves bulls

THE lack of a bull market in Spain is good news for bulls at least.

The worst economic downturn since the second world war has seen less bulls being killed in the traditional corridas, or bullfights.

With unemployment across the country nearing 18 per cent and consumer spending dropping, many bullfight fans are cutting back on their hobby.

The number of bullfights fell to 1,443 in 2009, from 1,877 the year before — a drop of 23 per cent.

According to figures from the Union of Fighting Bull Breeders, more than 4,000 bulls have been spared a death in the ring.

Instead of being dispatched by the matador, they will be kept on farms around Spain and will probably be slaughtered for food later.

The industry generates 2.5 billion euros a year for Spain’s economy. It receives subsidies from the Spanish government and the EU estimated at 600 million euros and represents about 1.5 per cent of GDP.

However, bull-breeding industry sources say that there has been a downturn not only in the number of bullfights but also in street festivals, in which bulls are customarily tormented by crowds before being killed.

Catalonia recently voted to ban the sport and is now awaiting for the decision to be ratified.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. Thank you, this might be the shy start of a big change, and even though due to economic reasons, it does not matter. it is time andalusian spain left the middle ages by ending this horrendous cruelty to animals and entered the 21st century with the rest of europe.

  2. The EU should immediately stop giving 600 million euros to Spain for this disgusting activity and invest it in education and training to try and reskill people to get the Spanish economy back on its feet.

    Btw, how nice of the people to keep the injured and tormented creatures on a farm until they are slaughtered. That really makes up for their earlier treatment eh? Thank goodness the Catalonian people have finally wised up – a step in the right direction at least.

  3. I’m sorry, but since when is being sent to slaughter being ‘saved’. That’s just downright dishonest as a headline.

    Given a more humane death: yes.

    Killed years younger than had they been kept for the ring: yes.

    Saved: no.

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