Anger as Spain grants cultural status to bullfighting
01 August 2011
A "sad day for Spain", says charity
The Spanish Government has angered animal welfare campaigners by affording bullfighting the status of 'artistic discipline and cultural product', and giving it the protection of the state's ministry of culture.
Despite the Catalonian government's decision to ban bullfighting a year ago, Prime Minister Zapatero has been accused of "caving in" to the bullfighting lobby.
"The bullfighting lobby, like the bloodsports lobby in Britain, makes a lot of noise considering its size. Opinion polls consistently show that the Spanish public don't support bullfighting, and this caving in by the government is hugely out of step with the public's wishes," said Joe Duckworth, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports.
Last month, a team from the League went to Pamplona in Navarra to film the annual running of the bulls, to expose what it describes as the 'horrific cruelty' of the event.
"A country that produces such outstanding artistic talent as PIcasso, Miro and Dali doesn't need to prop up a cruel and outdated bloodsport," said Mr Duckworth. "The hunters in Britain were given short shrift when they tried to argue that fox hunting was a cultural tradition worthy of protection, and the same should happen in Spain."