(ANIMAL ABUSE) SPAIN — Despite one region of Spain deciding to abolish bullfighting within the last year, another much smaller town in Spain is actually funding the inhumane act. The residents of Guijo de Galisteo took a vote last weekend, asking the mayor to spend €10,000 on bullfighting rather than creating jobs for the already poverty-stricken, largely unemployed region. While awareness about the inhumane practice of bullfighting has increased, it still no doubt lives on. Read on to uncover the staggering numbers voting in favor of bullfighting. — Global Animal
Photo Credit: Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian, Giles Tremlett

The people of Guijo de Galisteo, a small municipality in eastern Spain, have turned their back on austerity and voted in a referendum for town hall money be spent on bullfights rather than jobs.

In a vote last weekend, residents in the three villages that comprise the region were asked to decide whether the town hall should spend €15,000 on hiring bulls or paying local people to carry out odd jobs.

The socialist mayor Francisco Javier Anton had decided to put half the money the town hall usually spends on its summer bull festivals to the vote. Although unemployment in Cáceres province is 31%, the bull option won by 242 votes to 181.

Batán and Valrío, two of the three villages in the municipality, voted overwhelmingly in favour of bulls, so Anton has set aside €10,000 for festivities there.

“That much money isn’t really going to create a lot of work, so I’d rather it was spent on bulls,” one resident said.

In Guijo, however, villagers voted for jobs – so mayor Anton promised to spend the remaining €5,000 on hiring workers there. “A lot of people here are on the dole, and they need the money,” said a resident. “You don’t need bulls to enjoy the fiestas.”

As with many towns in Spain, bull runs and bullfights are a central part of local summer festivals. The industry is in crisis, however, because town halls are slashing their budgets.

The number of bullfights across the country has fallen 46% in five years, and many bull rearers are cutting their losses and sending their herds to the abattoir. A fighting bull takes four years and about €4,000 to rear. 

Last year there were 1,177 bullfights, down from 2,176 in 2007. That figure is expected to fall again this year. 

The municipal budget of Guijo de Galisteo is €1.1m – but it reportedly owes about €250,000 to its suppliers. However, it has a further €15,000 to cover any festivities.

The bullfighting referendum came as Spain looks poised to ask the EU to rescue its ailing banks.

More Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/04/spanish-municipality-votes-bullfights-jobs