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We were horrified to learn that live coverage of bullfighting is set to make a reappearance on Spanish TV next month, six years after the public broadcaster Televisión Española (TVE) decided to stop airing these gruesome fights citing concerns for any young children who might be watching.
Presumably the concerns regarding children being able to view these horrendous scenes still exist. In fact some studies have shown that after watching a bullfight increased aggression was seen in some boys and some children appear disturbed by the experience1. Why then has TVE removed a section of its code of conduct making it possible again for children to view live bullfights?
The justification of this controversial move has been that "TVE believes that the potential audience that might be attracted to this lineup is, in itself, a sufficient reason for broadcasting it2". This again seems astounding considering that the vast majority of Spaniards (67%, Gallup 2008) have stated that they have no interest in bullfighting.
Clearly it is an influential minority who are attempting to keep this violent and archaic tradition alive, a tradition which should have been consigned to the history books a long time ago.
1Graña, J.L. et al. (2004) Effects of Viewing Videos of Bullfights on Spanish Children. Agressive Behaviour 30: 16-28.
2Tremlett, G (2012) Live bullfights back on Spanish state TV after outcry over 'shunning of culture'. The Guardian.co.uk [online: http://tinyurl.com/cm3xzoa]
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