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A bull suffering stab wounds collapses at a bullfight, France

Bullfighting pits a bull against men wielding barbed spikes, spears, swords and daggers. These weapons are designed to inflict intense pain and cause blood loss to weaken the animal. At the end of the fight, the bull is slaughtered.

The matadors only ever fight a weakened bull. In most cases, for him to be victorious in the "fight", he must brutally kill it.

Considered an "art form" by its dwindling number of supporters, bullfighting takes place in several European countries and parts of Latin America.

WSPA believes this violent form of animal abuse should be banned worldwide.

Fighting back

The Spanish province of Catalonia recently led the way in the fight against bullfighting, thanks to the citizen’s platform ‘PROU’ (‘Enough’), supported by campaigning work by WSPA and Spanish member society Asociacion Defensa Derechos Animal (ADDA), Fundación para la Adopción, Apadrinamiento y Defensa de los Animales (FAADA) and Libera!.

On July 28, 2010 the Catalonian parliament finally voted overwhelmingly to ban bullfighting. This ban will come into effect on January 1, 2012. See below for a video of the parliamentary response the moment the vote came through:

It was in no small part a WSPA supporter success. Our campaign in support of PROU was met with enormous public support.

On July 26, just before the vote, we were able to deliver 160,000 international signatures collected in 120 countries in favor of the ban to Ernest Benach, President of the Catalonian parliament. This ban is in keeping with the emerging global trend, as more and more local authorities around the world declare themselves opposed to bullfighting.

Recently, towns in Ecuador, Venezuela, France, Portugal and Colombia have declared themselves anti-bullfighting towns. The ban in Catalonia sets an example in Spain for other regions to follow and make the cruelty of bullfighting history.

People are seeing bullfighting for what it is – a barbaric pastime with no place in the modern world.

How you can help

Never attend a bullfight or any other attraction which neglects animal welfare. The bullfighting industry relies heavily on financial support from curious tourists – don’t be one of them.

Campaign success timeline

  • The Baños de Agua Santa City Council in Ecuador declared itself anti-bullfighting in 2007 and became the first city in the Americas to speak out against the ‘sport’.

  • In 2007, a Gallup poll showed that over 72% of Spain’s population has no interest in bullfighting.

  • Barcelona’s last working bullring began to hold fights fortnightly rather than weekly, due to low attendance.

  • Councils in 71 towns and cities in Catalonia, including Barcelona, declared themselves opposed to bullfighting.

  • On July 28, 2010 the Catalonian parliament voted overwhelmingly to ban bullfighting in Catalonia! 

Despite these successes a small pro-bullfighting lobby does still exist in Spain and elsewhere, and while bullfighting continues there is always more to be done.

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