Thou­sands in Madrid de­mand end to bull­fight­ing

Cape Breton Post - - Classifieds/Lifestyles -

Thou­sands of an­i­mal rights ac­tivists protested Satur­day in Madrid to de­mand an end to Spain’s long tra­di­tion of bull­fight­ing.

The march went through the Span­ish cap­i­tal’s city cen­tre, with sev­eral groups united un­der one clear-cut mes­sage: “Bull­fight­ing is vi­o­lence and you can stop it.”

An­i­mal rights ac­tivists say the gory fights are among the planet’s most bla­tant forms of an­i­mal cru­elty, with bulls lanced and fi­nally stabbed through the heart. Mata­dors are praised for killing with a sin­gle stab, though some don’t suc­ceed in fin­ish­ing off the an­i­mal with re­peated thrusts.

The march, sched­uled dur­ing the famed San Isidro week­long fair fea­tur­ing nu­mer­ous bull­fights in Madrid’s fa­mous Las Ven­tas bull­ring, is part of a grow­ing di­vide be­tween those who see bull­fight­ing as a bla­tant form of an­i­mal cru­elty and oth­ers who de­fend it as part of Spain’s tra­di­tional cul­ture.

Pro­test­ers also de­manded a change in leg­is­la­tion un­der which an­i­mal cru­elty would be sub­ject to Spain’s crim­i­nal code.

Spokes­woman Laura Gon­zalo called for an im­me­di­ate halt to all bull­fights.

“It’s time for all of so­ci­ety to unite and say ‘enough,”’ she said, while ques­tion­ing the mo­tive be­hind re­cent gov­ern­men­tal tax cuts to bull­fight­ing events.

Spain’s deep tra­di­tion of bull­fights was named part of the coun­try’s cul­tural her­itage in a law passed in 2013.

Madrid’s left­ist Mayor Manuela Car­mena hasn’t banned bull­fight­ing events, but she has elim­i­nated an­nual sub­si­dies for their pro­mo­tion.

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Pro­test­ers carry ban­ners dur­ing an anti bull­fight­ing demon­stra­tion march in Madrid, Spain, Satur­day. Thou­sands marched though the cen­tre of the city to call for a ban of bull­fight­ing.

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