ANIMAL welfare groups are campaigning to get bullfighting banned for good after the sport returned from a lockdown suspension.

The first bullfight after lockdown happened in Avila, near Madrid, where protesters went to capture the gruesome spectacle on video, to make more people aware of the ‘crude truth’ behind the ‘cultural’ sport. 

The video shows the matador stabbing the bull repeatedly, and the bull bleeding from its wounds, nose, and mouth, before slowly dying from its injuries.

The arena, as seen in the video, was empty for the bullfight held on July 19, which the protesters say supports their argument that the sport should stop receiving government funding, 

Bullfighting
BLOODY SPORT: Bull fights are back (file photo)

The National Association for the Defense of Animals (NAFA) claims it is being increasingly rejected by society.  

Currently, bullfights receive funding from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Autonomous communities, municipalities, the European Union (EU), and city/town councils. 

During the lockdown, bullfighters were crying out for the sport to start up again, asking for public money to keep them afloat, even though statistics from the most recent bullfighting data collection show a “significant decline in the bullfighting industry”, with a 63.4% drop between 2007 and 2019, according to NAFA.

The activists are demanding that the Spanish government “dedicate zero aid to bullfighting”, in the hope that they will follow in the footsteps of Catalunya, which banned the sport in 2010. 

“Have we not already had an overdose of death and pain these past months?” said a spokesperson for Torture is Not Culture, in response to the return of bullfighting. 

NAFA also called for a culture where death is not celebrated and where “sadism disguised as courage” and “torture masked as culture” is not accepted anymore.

Of the funding that bullfighting receives, 31.6%,  €130 million to be exact, is from the European Union, which gives out money to support grazing farms, where the bulls are raised. 

The funding is meant to form part of the Common Agriculture Policy (Politica Agricola Comun), and not supposed to be used to fund bullfighting. 

The activists and the associations linked to the campaign are asking for a review on who the EU gives its funding to, saying that “the raising and selection of certain animals to be mistreated to death in public shows should not receive funds from the citizens of the EU”.

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