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. It should be remembered that, in most cases, for him to be victorious in the “fight” he brutally kills 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.

Our campaign focuses on a region that is close to achieving a ban: Catalonia.

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 28 July 2010 the Catalonian parliament finally voted overwhelmingly to ban bullfighting. This ban will come into effect on 1 January 2012 The parliamentary response the moment the vote came through can be viewed here.

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

On 26 July, just before the vote, we were able to deliver 160,000 international signatures collected in 120 countries in favour 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.

Read more about being an animal friendly traveller >>

Campaign successes so far

  • 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’.
  • A 2007 Gallup poll showed that over 72% of Spaniards have no interest in bullfighting.
  • Barcelona’s last working bullring began to hold fights fortnightly rather than weekly, due to low attendances.
  • Councils in 71 towns and cities in Catalonia, including Barcelona, have declared themselves opposed to bullfighting.
  • On 28 July 2010 the Catalonian parliament voted overwhelmingly to ban bullfighting in Catalonia!

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