(ANIMAL CRUELTY/BULLFIGHTING) MADRID — There are plenty of reasons to love Spain. Spanish bullfighting however, is not one of them. Unlike Catalonia, which banned bullfighting a few years back, the government in Madrid has yet to follow suit. Now Madrid has decided to grant the cruel spectacle of bullfighting protected status and make it feasible to allow public funds to promote and protect this “cultural” event.
So as Spain continues to allocate public funding for an event the majority of its citizens don’t support and every reasonable human being detests, the country’s youth continues their slog through a jobless quagmire. Read on to learn more about the bill and don’t forget to sign the petition to stop bullfighting once and for all! — Global Animal
The Telegraph, Fiona Govan
The legislation which designates Spain’s national fiesta as part of “cultural heritage worthy of protection” was passed on Wednesday by a congressional culture committee and will go to a vote in the Senate later this month.
The move will create measures and allow public funds to be used to promote and protect bullfighting and related activities such as running of the bulls throughout Spain.
A coalition of international animal welfare groups immediately spoke out to criticise the bill and slammed the use of public funds for “unacceptable animal cruelty”.
“Spain’s government has signalled its support for unacceptable animal cruelty and the allowance of public funds used to assist the blood sport,” said a statement signed by groups including PETA, Humane Society International, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
“This move is a cynical attempt by a desperate bullfighting industry to secure the future of this dying industry. Bullfighting is cruel and outdated and has no place in a modern society; culture stops where cruelty starts,” it continued.
The bill was introduced by the ruling conservative Popular Party, which has a majority in Parliament, and was passed by the congressional committee by 24 votes to six, with 14 abstentions.
Attempts to force amendments by smaller opposition parties were rejected by the PP and the main opposition socialist PSOE party abstained from the vote arguing that it was not for politicians to either “ban or promote” bullfighting.
The new legislation was not expected to overturn bans on bullfighting introduced by the regional governments of the Canary Islands and Catalonia.
The bullfighting industry has been hit by the economic crisis with many cash-strapped town halls unable to afford to stage their annual bullfighting fiesta and amid falling spectator numbers.
A recent poll showed that 76 per cent of Spaniards were against public funds being used to support bullfighting.
Philip Mansbridge, CEO for Care in the Wild International, called the new bill an “embarrassment” that was motivated by financial and not cultural reasons.
“When will Spain learn that culture cannot be an excuse for cruelty? Spain is a beautiful country but this is an embarrassment. It is an attempt to deflect attack on bullfighting and to get more than the 130 million euros a year in EU subsidies it already gets from our taxes.
“As much of the world moves forward in its views towards animals and cruelty, the Spanish government is holding onto its cruel past for financial not cultural reasons,” he said.