4 Jun, 2024 @ 19:30
2 mins read

British expats and locals demand Marbella bullfight be cancelled: Petition by animal activists gathers 25,000 signatures in just four days

MORE than 25,000 expats and locals have signed a petition demanding the cancellation of this weekend’s bullfight in Marbella.

World-famous matadors including Roca Rey, Morante de la Puebla and Jose Maria Manzanares will descend on the iconic Plaza de Toros on June 8.

The ‘spectacular’ event, according to the local council, will ‘reinaugurate’ the tradition of bullfighting in the town.

The festivity will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the arena being built.

However the event has enraged animal activists and many expats and locals alike. 

A petition calling for the event to be cancelled has now surpassed 25,000 signatures since being launched just four days ago. 

The petition calls on Mayor María Angeles Muñoz to bring an immediate stop to the bullfight and for a permanent ban on bullfighting in Marbella.

“We were shocked and horrified to learn that a bullfight is taking place at the old Marbella Bullring,” said a representative from Marbella Against Bullfighting, the group that set up the petition.  

Marbella councillors pose in front of poster for upcoming bullfighting event (Twitter/Aytomarbella)

“After nine years of no bullfighting in Marbella this is a huge step backwards for both Marbella and Spain.

“The bullring has been used to host concerts in recent years so we really believed bullfighting was a thing of the past.”

They added: “Marbella is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city, loved by locals and international visitors alike. Why would our Mayor want to drag the city back in time and stage a cruel and bloody slaughter of an animal for entertainment?”

The bullfight has sparked outrage amongst many locals who had no idea it was returning to Marbella and they have been quick to add their support to the petition.

Over one hundred towns and cities across Spain have now outlawed bullfighting. Many bullrings are now re-purposed as young Spaniards have largely turned their backs on the tradition. 

“Our opinion at AIMS is that bullfighting is a barbaric practice and should be banned,” said Elise Dunweber, co-founder of AIMS (Animals In Marbella Sanctuary). 

“Our view of Spanish culture lies in art, literature, music and cuisine. Killing animals for entertainment is not culture it is torture. A new poll by CAS International poll shows that most people in European Bullfighting Countries are against the harmful tradition and want bullfighting banned. 

“Please help us by signing our petition to end this practice and support our call to stop the fight taking place.”

Lorraine and Chris Platt, co- founders of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) commented: “We have written to the Mayor as the co-founders of CAWF and urged for the planned bull fight to be cancelled in Marbella and to replace the cruel spectacle with a humane alternative that does not involve animals. 

“Bullfights subject bulls to tremendous suffering- it is unacceptable to subject sentient animals to such an unnecessary prolonged and painful death in the name of an outmoded ‘sport’ which should be consigned to the history books.”

The petition can be found here.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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1 Comment

  1. Ms Elise Dunweber of the Animals in Marbella Sanctuary might wish to reconsider her view that bull fighting is not part of Spanish Culture ; the Spanish parliament has declared that it is . In 2013 it passed a law defining bull fighting as just that. The preamble to the law states that the cultural heritage of this art is indisputable and that it is “… an artistic manifestation detached from ideologies in which deep human values such as intelligence , bravery , aesthetics or solidarity are highlighted”. When in 2012 the Catalan parliament banned bullfighting the Spanish Constitutional Court struck down the unlawful prohibition several years later . The Catalans have subsequently managed to find ways of making bull fighting impossible but their blanket veto was and remains an unlawful attack on Spanish cultural traditions .
    Nor are Ms Dunweber, AIMS , Marbella Against Bullfighting and the various signatories of the petition , it is unclear how many of them have Spanish nationality as opposed to costa del sol residency , correct in proclaiming that Spanish people are against bull fighting . According to the government survey of Spanish Cultural Practices carried out in 2019 , the following was established , at least 65% of Spaniards had some interest in bullfighting and in the ages group 15 to 24 that percentage rose to around 75%. So much for the myth that the young in particular have no interest in the art . As far as the general public are concerned the more rural areas have higher attendance rates than the urban ones other than Madrid . And support for the corrida sets the political right against the political left and the Catalans against the central government but these divides are a long standing feature of Spanish society and almost every issue has to be viewed through the prism of these conflicts.

    There really is a nasty whiff of ” I don’t like it so you can’t do it ” about all this and it is unfortunate and inappropriate that the call for a ban is being spearheaded by the ex pat community many of whom have little contact with real Spain . They should attend the corrida on Saturday as they will be treated to a performance by three of the greatest living toreros , Ole’

    Location : Cadiz province

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