The global pandemic could be an opportunity to significantly weaken the future of bullfighting — so, hopefully, less bulls will have to suffer through this barbaric sport.
Bullfighting has been long reviled by many animal lovers who see it as a cruel and outdated form of entertainment. Bulls are taunted, tortured, and made into a spectacle in front of large crowds with the event usually ending in the bull’s death.
Spain’s lockdown shut down the bullfighting season which runs until October and now the sector is asking their government for a bailout.
According to Victorino Martin, a second-generation breeder of fighting bulls, the estimated loss of income for the sector is $756 million. “What industry could survive a year and a half without any income and still cover its costs?” Martin asked The Guardian. “There are breeders that have slaughtered all of their animals … I know there was a week where more than 400 were killed.”
The bullfighting industry has outlined a list of requests for the government but it’s being met with stiff opposition. More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition to prevent the use of public funds.
“It’s outrageous — particularly at this moment, when there are families that don’t have enough to eat and hospitals that have been decimated by cutbacks,” Aida Gascon of animal rights group AnimaNaturalis told The Guardian. “Public funds should not be used to promote and pay for spectacles based on abuse and mistreatment of animals.”
A year before the 2008 financial crash, Spain held 3,651 events featuring bulls. A decade later, that number has decreased to 1,521 events in 2018. The hope is that some good can come from our current financial crisis and decrease the amount of bull tortures even more.
“What we’re looking for is the total abolition of this practice of torturing animals as a form of spectacle,” said Gascon. “One way to do this is to choke off their subsidies … it wouldn’t get rid of the industry completely but it would reduce it to 5% or 10% of what we have today,”
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(Cover image: Enrique Ramos/Shutterstock)