Over a hundred animal rights organisations came together to publicise the International Network Against Bullfighting; a macrostructure created to curb the practice in countries where the practice is still legal. The initiative is a direct result of an international forum with members from Colombia, Ecuador, France, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Venezuela.
According to a statement made public yesterday, the new partnership aims to fuel the discussion – and gradual elimination – of the “pride in mistreatment and death of innocent beings as entertainment”. In practice, it will work to eliminate any direct or indirect funding from public institutions and pressure the private sector to end the promotion and funding of this activity, suggesting that torture and branding should not go together.
Arguments against the practice include societies’ growing rejection of bullfighting, shown by declining number of spectators and the 50 per cent reduction of related events in Spain since 2007; the abolition of bullfighting in the Mexican states of Guerrero and Sonora; and the cancelling of events in Bogotá, Colombia.
According to network organisers, “the public viewing of bullfighting also snubs the need to protect children from physical and psychological violence”, as suggested by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, especially concerning its Colombia and Portugal revision.
However, much is to be done in terms of pushing legislation forward. In a 2014 vote, 323 European Parliament members were in favour of ending European subsidies for the rearing of ‘de lidia’ bulls, while 309 were for maintaining the practice.