Bullfighting is a cruel sport that pits a bull against men who wield a variety of lethal weapons.
WSPA is working with Spanish member societies to end this cruel ‘sport’ in the region of Catalonia, northern Spain. Our ongoing joint petition is handed into the Catalan authroities at strategic moments to support anti-bullfighting activities.
Why are bullfights cruel?
- Most bullfights last for about 15 minutes, with a series of deliberately vicious stages. The bull is taunted and stabbed with a variety of spears, barbed spikes and daggers. These weapons are designed to inflict intense pain and cause blood loss to weaken the animal.
- After this period of suffering, the Matador finally kills the exhausted and dying bull. Many bulls die drowning in their own blood because the Matador’s inaccuracy often pierces their lungs instead of the heart.
- Following this, a short dagger, or 'puntilla', is used to sever its spinal cord at the neck before the bull is dragged out of the arena, sometimes still alive.
Achievements to date
- Barcelona City Council declares its ‘anti-bullfight’ stance in April 2004
- Over 500,000 petitions collected in support of a ban on bullfighting in Catalonia
- Bill to ban bullfighting proposed in Catalan Parliament in April 2005
The future for bullfights in Catalonia
The next and crucial stage of this campaign is securing a ban on bullfighting in the entire region of Catalonia. Such a ban would be a landmark victory for the entire anti-bullfight movement and would relegate this cruel ‘sport’ to the past once and for all.
WSPA has recently written to UNESCO requesting that they do not accept proposals to protect bullfighting as ‘intangible cultural heritage’.