The League protests bullfighting’s bloody stain on Spain

Holding a sign reading “abolish bullfighting”, Surrey-resident and League Against Cruel Sports staff member Luis Calvo-Ramos joined over 30,000 people at the weekend to demand the Spanish government puts an end to bloody bullfights. 

Luis Calvo-Ramos, Head of Digital & Data at Godalming-based animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports, took part in the mass demonstration in Madrid.

He said:

“During the bullfight these mighty animals are tormented, chased around the ring and impaled with harpoons until they collapse to the floor from blood loss. These gruesome scenes come with a backdrop of jeering spectators, who take great delight from the prolonged suffering of the bull in scenes reminiscent of a Roman Coliseum.

“Thankfully, the Spanish Government is under unprecedented pressure to outlaw the country’s bloody bullfights, as a result of rising domestic and international condemnation. I am proud to have represented the majority of people from around the world who are not prepared to tolerate this cruel and outdated ‘sport’.”

Luis Calvo-Ramos, the League

Silvia Barquero, president of PACMA, with Luis Calvo from the League. © League Against Cruel Sports / Archimaldito

Bullfighting has drawn fierce international criticism because of the considerable level of animal suffering involved in the cruel ‘sport’. Ahead of bullfights the animals are tormented with electric prods and sharp sticks to gear them up for the archaic spectacle. Once in the bullring as many as eight men taunt, beat and jab each bull with daggers and harpoon-like ‘banderillas’ until the animal becomes weakened from blood loss. Then, in the final moments, the matador stabs the exhausted animal with a sword and severs his spinal chord. Many bulls are paralysed but still conscious as they are chained and dragged out of the arena to the jeers of baying crowds.

It is not only people across the globe who are vocal critics of bullfighting. The practice is growing increasingly unpopular with Spanish citizens too, who are concerned about the considerable level of suffering inflicted on animals during the ‘sport’. According to a 2016 survey of Spaniards, only 19 per cent of 16 to 65-year olds now back bullfighting compared to almost 34 per cent in 2013. The regions of Catalonia and the Canary Islands have made history by being among the first to bring an end to the killing of bulls in fights through introduction of ‘technical bans’.

Silvia Barquero, President of PACMA (Animalist Party Against Animal Abuse), which organised the weekend’s demonstration, says:

“The majority of the Spanish people are against bullfighting and we only need one more step to ban it. For us it’s very helpful having the support of people and organisations from all around Europe, including the UK.

“In the name of the thousands and thousands who have filled the square in Madrid: thank you very much to all the supporters and members of the League Against Cruel Sports, because you are helping us to stop bullfighting.”

Watch our video on the event, below:

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