BULLFIGHTING has made a comeback on state TV after being banned for six years.

In a highly controversial decision TVE has reversed an earlier move to stop broadcasting bullfights due to the high costs involved along with child protection reasons as the fights coincided with ‘Children’s Time’.

The state-owned station showed live coverage of fights at Valladolid Feria on September 5.

It comes after the public broadcaster struck a deal with the bullfighters, their managers, and the rancher Victoriano del Rio to waive their rights, meaning TVE will only have to pay for the technical costs.

69 COMMENTS

  1. This is FANTASTIC NEWS!! Live animal torture on tv again! must get a nice cup of tea, put feet up and watch the already maimed animals being systematically tortured and killed while families cheer on! I think they’re showing live fox hunting from next year in the uk too! Especially the bit where the fox gets torn to bits! EXCELLENT NEWS!!

  2. Marcus,
    I can do better than that – train the bulls to turn on a sixpence and fit them with full kevlar body armour and steel grills over the eyes and make the toreadors fight naked – now that I would pay to see. I fancy there would be some nasty smells eminating from the arena and nothing to do with the bulls.

  3. Jeff ” Just a quicky here too: ’80% percent of Spaniards have no interest in attending or supporting bullfights.’” I am sure yo are right. It is a bit like football in the UK. The top 93 grounds have a capacity of just over 2 million. Half are playing away so only 1 million can actually attend. The remaining 98.3% stay away.

  4. not my words – but please SPREAD the word till this barbaric ‘sport’ is banned forever in Spain!

    ‘Each year, thousands of bulls are tortured and killed in bullrings throughout Spain. Prior to the fight, bulls are intentionally debilitated in various ways: They’re often deprived of food and a few inches of their horns are sometimes sawed off to expose the nerve and impair their coordination in an illegal practice called “shaving.” And a study at Spain’s Salamanca University revealed that 20 percent of the bulls used for fighting are drugged before they enter the ring.

    During the fight, the bulls are stabbed and gouged repeatedly with lances and banderillas—brightly colored sticks with harpoon points—by a series of picadors and banderillos (men on horseback and on foot). They chase the bull around, making him dizzy and causing a significant amount of blood loss with each stab before the matador (Spanish for “killer”) even enters the ring. The matador then attempts to kill the bull with a sword. If the matador is unsuccessful, an executioner is called in to stab the animal to death.’

    matadors sound like the ultimate cowards! absolutely disgusting!

  5. The bullfighting industry is desperately trying to hang on to and encourage dwindeling crowds back into bullrings. Of course they will do anything to do so, including offering free tickets to schoolchildren. It is a morally and soon to be financially bankrupt business. I for one will be glad to see it where it should be…In the history books!

  6. Jeff, I will say a lot more. “Series of picadors” – no, one. Who is this mysterious executioner? The matador is the only person, by Spanish law, who may kill the bull in the ring, hence the title on his license. Blood loss? In an animal with 60 pints of blood which can, according to the standard veterinary equation, lose 15 pints without adverse affect?

    You really have no idea what you are talking about do you? You are just cutting and pasting nonsense you find on the web. The highest ever Gallup poll to show a lack of interest in – not a view against – bullfighting was the 2006 one finding 72%, which fell to 69% in 2008, the same level as 2002. The most recent large poll, for El Pais in 2010, found 57% against a ban.

    It is used to be regarded as necessary to research before you publish. Clearly not in your case…

  7. Alexander – “It is used to be regarded as necessary to research before you publish. Clearly not in your case…”

    The Olive Press is a tabloid. You’ll find most of the articles don’t actually cite sources or substantiate claims sufficiently to meet journalistic standards mainstream (see: legitimate, non-tabloid) publications attempt to adhere to. Much less the comments from random people.

    That being said, anyone who disapproves of bullfighting but eats meat should be forced to watch their food animal live and die in a slaughterhouse before every meal. The life of a meat animal is far more akin to “torture” than the life of an animal raised for sport in the bull ring. Anyone who eats a nice steak but can’t stomach watching livestock be processed in a slaughterhouse (especially if they go on to criticize a bull fight) is the very definition of hypocrisy.

  8. It’s the ‘enjoying’ part of bullfighting that is simply abhorrent! At least the majority of Spanish people are against this cruel sport. just because it’s been continuing for a long time doesn’t make this right.

  9. Why don’t some people on here say what they think about the specific action of people applauding the torture of bulls instead of this nonsensical abattoir argument (Reality??!!). It would be obviously disgusting to cheer in an abattoir. Bullfighting is simply uncivilised in modern day society.

  10. But Jenny, we certainly do celebrate an excellent meal containing a beautifully cooked steak, which we not only do not need to eat, but which is in most cases of nutritionally negative value.

    Or a beautiful pair of leather shoes, or a belt or handbag, ALL of which could be better – i.e. more durably – made of other fabrics.

    Those animals were killed for our taste – the entertainment of our senses – and we applaud the products of that death. Your notion of “civilisation” seems rather thin and superficial.

  11. Sounds like a load of old bull to me, but seriously, I don’t like animals or humans suffering for enjoyment.It would be excellent if bullfighting wasn’t so dirty,no drugged or repeatedly stabbed bull etc, then lets see how cool the matador is!

  12. Jenny – “Why don’t some people on here say what they think about the specific action of people applauding the torture of bulls instead of this nonsensical abattoir argument (Reality??!!). It would be obviously disgusting to cheer in an abattoir. Bullfighting is simply uncivilised in modern day society.”

    1. Referring to the historical traditions of a culture that is not your own as “uncivilized” is ethnocentrism. This is the “fail to cope” attitude of people who show up and then expect foreign countries to be like home. And when they discover they are not, or that the cultural/moral values are different, they exclaim “how uncivilized!” Look at ancient Rome – it was the height of civilization in its day. Yet, it widely endorsed blood sports that make Spanish bullfighting seem tame. Although you dislike it, it is not uncivilized.

    2. Is the issue the actual suffering of the animal – or is it that people are cheering the animal’s death? All animals that are consumed for food – even ones slyly called “free range” – live horrible lives. You should see what happens in a farm or ranch over the course of an animal’s life. In contrast, the life of a sport bull is far better. Yet, you seem to be fine with the torture of livestock animals in private. You have no problem consuming the remains of tortured animals; probably with a nice glass of wine and laughing over it with friends.

    It’s an emotional argument; “I don’t like to see it! How barbaric!” It isn’t a logically consistent one. Not unless you’re a complete vegan (because even dairy cows live horrible, horrible lives). By consuming animal products you endorse the standard treatment of those animals. We all do. Every one of us who eats meat.

    Try a thought experiment – if you were reborn today, would you prefer to be reborn as a livestock animal, such as a pig, chicken, dairy cow, etc. or a sport bull?

    For the former, you would be confined to a pen so small that you cannot turn around for most of your entire life. Due to this, your limbs would atrophy. You would never see the light of day. You would hear nothing but the sounds of hundreds (or thousands) of your fellow animals squealing 24/7, all in the same cramped conditions as yourself. You’d have antibiotics weekly in your food (the same food, every day, always) in order to fight the disease that would otherwise naturally overtake the entire group in such unsanitary conditions. However, the same antibiotics would cause some nasty effects to your immune and digestive systems. You would be suffering constantly. Then, one day, you would go down the line and meet your end. The death would be fast and painless. You’d end up on a table. Enjoy your magro con tomate.

    For the latter, the sport bull, you would run around free in a field. The sun would always shine on you. You would actually get a special diet to ensure your health – no routine medications necessary. You would actually be taken on routine ‘runs’ to ensure you get exercise. Life is good. Then, one day, maybe someone drugs you. Or they shave your horns. And then they set you free and you get stabbed for 20-30 minutes before dying in front of an audience. The death isn’t fast or painless. You suffer, although briefly. And like the livestock animals you also end up on a table, but for a different crowd (the meat traditionally is donated for poverty relief).

    Which animal really had the better life? Which would you prefer if it were you?

  13. Craig – “here here Jenny! all over this Olive Press website you hear the same nonsense by these TROLLS! best to ignore them.”

    I think someone heard the expression “troll” on the evening news and misunderstood what the term actually means. I’ll just give two examples of what a troll is ‘not’, in order to help you out:

    1. A ‘troll’ is not anyone who disagrees with you.

    2. A ‘troll’ is not an excuse to ignore an argument, point, stance or belief that you don’t understand, don’t like, can’t respond to, or can’t refute.

  14. This is a bit confusing on here. Are Alexander FISKE-HARRISON and Reality vegetarians? or are they anti bullfighting meat eaters arguing against meat eaters who are anti bullfighting? – If vegetarian though best to carry on our merry ways

  15. @ Reality

    I always enjoy reading your well researched contributions, and although normally I tend to agree with you, on this occasion, pardon me, I can’t agree.

    That animals are kept in unsalutory and inhumane conditions for our consumption is abhorrent to me, as I am sure it is to all of us with any degree of empathy for any living being, and we should all fight for the rights of these animals, who at the end of the day provide us with substenance and should be treated with respect. There are many organisations out there advocating for just that.

    But to raise a beautiful animal, such as a bull, for blood sport, is, at least in my eyes, barbaric. The same spectacle can be had without the terror and the blood. Portugal does it, why can’t Spain.

    Raising an animal, with however much pampering, to either torture it to death in a sunfilled bullring with people cheering, screaming and clapping, is just as barbaric,whether it lasts for 20 minutes or an hour, as throwing a terrified goat off a church tower for a fiesta, just because it is seen as “traditional”. You just cannot call it culture. Just as you cannot call culture abandoning a pet in the middle of a road, just because you are off on holiday and can’t be bothered or cant afford to have it being taken care of properly until you get back.

    Culture is what we try and instill in our children to make them better human beings respectul of all living beings. It is about time the other type of “culture” was terminated.

  16. Thomas – “I just pray that no one listens to people like your fantastic egotistical patronising arrogant self and this ‘sport’ is banned forever in Spain!!”

    Eventually it will be. Most Spanish natives don’t like it. But how do you justify the treatment of the animals that you enjoy eating? There are vegetarians/vegans who make the exact same argument you’re making. Unless you’re a vegan then you’re just preaching hypocrisy. You support selective torture of animals; it’s okay to torture animals if you get to enjoy eating their yummy meat afterward. It’s bad to torture animals if you enjoy it for some other reason. Not very consistent.

    Craig – “This is a bit confusing on here. Are Alexander FISKE-HARRISON and Reality vegetarians? or are they anti bullfighting meat eaters arguing against meat eaters who are anti bullfighting? – If vegetarian though best to carry on our merry ways”

    I eat meat. And I understand the suffering that the animals experience before they end up on my plate. So I can’t – without being a hypocrite – condemn other people for causing suffering to the same animals. To do so is tantamount to saying, “Well, it’s okay if they suffer horribly for something I enjoy. But how dare these other people (in their own country and their own culture, nonetheless) enjoy the suffering of those very same animals!”

    Think about that the next time you’re eating beef. You are endorsing something that suffered strictly so you could enjoy it.

    It ain’t Cricket! – “Just as you cannot call culture abandoning a pet in the middle of a road, just because you are off on holiday and can’t be bothered or cant afford to have it being taken care of properly until you get back.”

    It is good to disagree and debate politely.

    I would say that if a random person abandoned a pet and this wasn’t a societal tradition, or norm, it wouldn’t be a part of that culture. However, if you had a society – say you have a tribe – and every year they all abandon their pets in the road that would actually be a part of their culture. It would indeed be barbaric by our standards. We just don’t do that to animals. But it would be a part of their culture.

    Take an actual example – there are almost 1 billion Hindus in the world, most (particularly in India) do not consume beef. The cow is sacred. In fact, treating a cow badly at all is considered barbaric. They make up about 14% of the world’s population. So while we point our fingers at the few Spanish who hang on to their “barbaric” cultural tradition of bullfighting there are nearly a billion people who consider us equally barbaric for enjoying a steak. And, frankly, they are right – the way livestock animals are treated is barbaric.

    No one needs to watch or participate in bullfights. If bullfights disappeared today everyone would be fine. The same is true for eating beef. If all cows disappeared we would continue living. Maybe even better – since the food used to feed a single head of cattle exceeds that needed to feed a human three- to tenfold. Various cultures willingly choose barbaric things simply because they enjoy them. We’re one of those barbaric cultures.

    So frankly I can’t express any moral indignation at bullfighting when I am part of a culture (so is everyone else here – Western/European culture – we’re all guilty) that has institutionalized the torture of animals for the sheer pleasure of consumption.

  17. No, it isn’t.

    The puntillero severs the nervous connection between the brain and the spine the moment the bull touches the ground after the matador’s sword has inflicted the fatal wound. Should the sword wound prove insufficient, the matador does this job himself with the descabello. Should the matador prove unable to kill within fifteen minutes of his entery into the ring with the sword and muleta (red cape), the steers are released, the bull herded out, and executed by a veterinarian.

    Can you really not be bothered to research AT ALL before posting?

  18. @ Alexander

    “The puntillero severs the nervous connection between the brain and the spine the moment the bull touches the ground after the matador’s sword has inflicted the fatal wound.”

    Anyone who has ever witnessed a corrida knows full well that what you say is not quite correct. As it happens several minutes go by until the puntillero is called in, whilst the matador waits for the “glory” of his sword thrust to have killed the bull outright, not often the case.The animal can then be hit a couple of times by “descabello”. If the matador is still unable to do the job himself, the puntillero is then called in to finish the job.

    ” Should the matador prove unable to kill within fifteen minutes of his entery into the ring with the sword and muleta (red cape), the steers are released, the bull herded out,” … and executed by a veterinarian.”

    At this stage the bull is hardly able to stand,let alone allow itself to be herded out, after being stuck with banderillas, lanced by the picadores and sworded by the matador.

    The only time I have seen the bull herded out is if the matador asks of the president of the particular corrida to reprieve the bull because of the animal’s bravura “braveness”(Before being sworded)in which case the animal is taken back to the fields to act as a sperm bank, or because the animal is considered “tame” or “wisened” up beforehand by having been “toreado” before “illegally” by some aspiring youngster(muletilla) , in which case, the animal is considered too dangerous. The latter two examples might be the only times the animal is put down by a vet to my knowledge.

  19. The puntillero comes in the moment is in the ground. The crowd can not demand an ear for the matador until the spine is severed. And the descabello goes in the same place as the puntillero, so it would be a little redundant. You may have watched a few corridas, but you have not seen. Whereas I speak as one who has fought.

    If the bull is on the ground, there is no need to call in steers, only to call in the puntillero etc. An indulto, or pardon, is completely different. The substitution of a bull happens as you say. However, a matador had a bull taken away from him as I describe in Madrid just last year. It was herded out, exactly as the law says it must be.

  20. @ Alexander

    I was responding to what you stated:

    “Should the matador prove unable to kill within fifteen minutes of his entery into the ring with the sword and muleta (red cape), the steers are released, the bull herded out, and executed by a veterinarian.”

    Can’t see how the animal could get up after the matador had got at him with the sword, unless he hit bone several times of course. I’ve seen quite a few hundred corridas in my lifetime, unfortunately, both live and on TV, my father was a great aficionado, so was a good friend later in life. TV gives you great close ups too, so no mistaking what I’ve seen. Good thing they at least pad the picador horses now, but still. Nowadays I switch channels.

    You say you have fought, where, at a tentadero with a yearling? They can give you a good run for your money, or with a 500 kilo specimen going the full round? Just curious.

    And back to my original post, I’d much rather watch the bullfights in Portugal..no swords, no puntillero, just eight men measuring their strength with the animal. Tourists pay the same for the ticket and its less sanguine.

  21. @ Alexander again (sorry just a PS..was trying to find a site to prove you wrong as to your following statement)

    You said: “And the descabello goes in the same place as the puntillero, so it would be a little redundant. You may have watched a few corridas, but you have not seen. Whereas I speak as one who has fought.”

    “http://www.aceros-de-hispania.com/infer.asp?ac=5&sg=esp_torero&trabajo=listar&pa=esp_torero”

    Begs the question, have you really seen? The descabello(item 1 in the picture) as I said above is done by the matador, if he misses with this one too,I’ve seen it happen more than once or twice or thrice, Mr.puntillero comes in and ends it all.

    Ban bull fighting, it costs the tax payer in Spain over five hundred million in subsidies, which could be put to better use, especially nowadays.

    “http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/276608/0/fiestas/taurinas/millones/”

  22. It ain’t Cricket! – “Ban bull fighting, it costs the tax payer in Spain over five hundred million in subsidies, which could be put to better use, especially nowadays.”

    I didn’t know that. Frankly it’s the best argument for banning bullfighting so far. I always figured bullfights generated revenue, but then again every bullfight I’ve been to seems to have 80% of the seats empty so I can’t say I’m totally surprised.

    I’d prefer not to subsidize a sport that the vast majority of the population doesn’t even like.

    Craig – “SICK SICK SICK and also YAAAAWN”

    Worst argument (if you can even call it an argument) so far. Just a shallow appeal to emotion. Why even bother commenting if you’re not going to contribute to the conversation in some meaningful way?

  23. My limit thus far has been a 350kg 3 year old to kill. It is quite easy to read about, e.g. in ABC in Spain “http://www.abc.es/20120822/cultura-toros/abci-toros-extranjero-gastos-201208221054.html” or The Times in Britain “http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/article1855802.ece”. Or you could simply read the book I wrote on the subject: “http://www.intothearena.co.uk”

    To repeat what I, and Royal Decree No. 145 of February 2nd, 1996 say, the matador must attempt to kill the bull with the sword. If it goes to the ground, the puntillero severs the spine. If the sword does not bring it to the ground, he uses the descabello.

    If, after 15 minutes, the bull is still not on the ground, the President calls the toreros out of the ring and sends in the steers. (He also has the option of sending in another matador.)

    Trying to find a website to prove me wrong, rather than to find out the truth, seems to be about the sum of it here. You could always just learn Spanish and read the regulations…

    500 million subsidy? Ha! That figure is actually for ALL cattle farms across Spain of which fighting bulls are a small fraction. And fighting bulls end up in the food chain too.

    In Portugal, the bull is killed immediately on leaving on the ring by a vet. So much better.

  24. @ Reality.

    Well if I couldn’t appeal to the torment of the bull, at least I have managed to appeal to your pocket!

    Unfortunately for the poor animal politics come into the game too. What better way to keep the populace glued to a TV screen and out of harms way? A little short stubby guy with a thin moustache used to play that card very well, as well as football and other things. Let’s hope the tide turns for the better for both bulls and the country.

  25. Oh but I do speak and write Spanish, fluently. That is why I was able to read the last link I provided, which says it all.

    I would say the same even if you were the famed Manolete himself RIP. Was it all worth it? I’d much rather learn to drive a tractor thank you very much!

  26. Sorry, I didn’t read that link properly. It is utter rubbish, from a propaganda website. Half a billion Euros? That’s almost half a million Euros for each bullfight! That would BUY most minor bullrings! Complete nonsense. It is amazing what people think they can get away with because it’s “only the web”.

    “My father was an aficionado…” That’s about the size of it: the authority of the playground.

  27. @ Alexander

    I said my father was an aficionado, unfortunately. (Note the word unfortunately) I forgot to say my friend was not only an aficionado on bull fighting, he was an expert, with more bullfights under his belt than you may have had sundaes.

    Bull fighting makes for beautiful pictures, beautiful artwork, beautiful songs, and harrowing poetry, agreed, if what you were talking about was not flesh and blood, and nerve endings.

    It also stands for a lot of pain, blood and tears, both from the animal and the man. I do not approve of it, I do not like it, and will never ever watch a bull being killed in a ring from which it has no escape. You might.I respect that. But don’t try and make me jump through the hoop of calling it a sport, because it isnt. The sport was originally jumping over the animal-Greek – on open ground with the animal able to get away – that was sporting. This other thing is just what it is.

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