Madrid rally against bullfighting draws thousands of protestors

A peaceful rally calling for the abolition of bullfighting drew more than 40,000 people onto the streets of Madrid last weekend including celebrities, politicians and representatives from animal welfare charities.

The ‘Bullfighting is Violence’ demonstration highlighted the terrible cruelty inflicted in the name of a ‘sport’, which sees men on foot and horseback torment, injure and then kill bulls with a sword thrust into the heart.

Luis Calvo, from the League Against Cruel Sports, took part in the demonstration:

“The rally attracted people of all age groups, from children through to pensioners, and they came from every corner of the country including regions where bullfighting is banned.

“This was a chance to show that opposition to bullfighting is stronger than ever. Now more people in Spain oppose bullfighting than support it.

An online poll by Ipsos MORI found that 58% of people aged 16-65 opposed bullfighting compared to only 19% who supported it.”

Anti bullfighting demonstration in Madrid

The rally was organised by the group Tauromaquia Es Violencia or TeV (Bullfighting is Violence) and supported by 165 separate organisations from across Spain and overseas.

Organisers called on the Spanish Government to stop subsidising the ‘sport’ – in 2013 it had declared that bullfighting was a ‘national cultural heritage’ which could be supported by taxpayers’ money and in 2017 it reduced VAT on bullfighting.

Laura Gonzalo, a spokeswoman for TeV, said:

“It is backwards that, in the 21st century, animals are still being tortured for fun and that it’s being financed with public money.”

Organisers also called for the strengthening of Spanish animal protection laws and the banning of bullfighting ‘spectacles’ such as the Pamplona Bull Run.

They also pointed towards official bullfighting industry figures from 2017 indicating this cruel ‘sport’ is in decline.

  • In the period 2007-2017 traditional bullfighting in rings decreased by 57.5% – in 2007 there were 3,651 bullfights in bullrings but by 2017 this figure had dropped to 1,553.
  • 76% of Spanish bullrings are no longer used for bullfighting.

Luis Calvo, said:

“The good news is that bullfighting is in decline but sadly many animals are still effectively being tortured and then killed.

“One of the most moving parts of the rally featured a performance in which 500 people broke banderillas, the traditional lances used to stab bulls, and released a cloud of red dust and smoke to symbolize the blood of the 20,000 bulls, cows and calves killed in bullrings and other bullfighting activities in Spain every year.”

Follow the campaign to end bullfighting at #TauromaquiaEsViolencia

Anti bullfighting demonstration in Madrid


The League is encouraging members of the public to sign their petition titled ‘stop the killing of animals by hunts in the UK’. Full details can be found here.


- ENDS -


Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact the League Against Cruel Sports Press Office on 01483 524250 (24hrs) or email

The League Against Cruel Sports is Britain's leading charity that works to stop animals being persecuted, abused and killed for sport. The League was instrumental in helping bring about the landmark Hunting Act. We carry out investigations to expose law-breaking and cruelty to animals and campaign for stronger animal protection laws and penalties. We work to change attitudes and behaviour through education and manage sanctuaries to protect wildlife. Find out more about our work at Registered charity in England and Wales (no.1095234) and Scotland (no.SC045533).

Sign up for our newsletter

We'd love to keep in touch. With your permission we'll let you know the very latest news on our fast-moving campaigns, as well as appeals and other actions (such as petitions) so you can continue to help protect animals.

If you would like to know more about your data protection rights, please read our privacy policy.

© 2022 The League Against Cruel Sports. Registered charity in England and Wales (1095234) and Scotland (SC045533).
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee, no. 04037610.
Registered office: New Sparling House, Holloway Hill, Godalming, GU7 1QZ, United Kingdom.