Writers protest against bullfighting in parliament
19 October 2007, MADRID - (AFP) - Leading opponents of bullfighting for the first time took their cause to the Spanish parliament, demanding deputies put an end to the centuries-old tradition.
19 October 2007
MADRID - (AFP) - Leading opponents of bullfighting for the first time took their cause to the Spanish parliament, demanding deputies put an end to the centuries-old tradition.
About 30 arts and sports personalities appeared before legislators to read out a statement drawn up by two left-wing deputies and supported by around 70 associations.
The motion demanded the "abolition of all types of ritual spectacle that includes the ill-treatment, death or torture of animals."
Parliament is debating a draft law on animal rights.
There can be no respect for animals in Spain "unless we have closed the last (bullfighting) arenas," the statement said.
It said authorities must not grant "a single euro" to the promotion of bullfights, which are organised by private companies and which attract many foreign tourists.
Among those presenting the motion was novelist Lucia Etxebarria.
Public distaste for bullfighting appears to be growing in Spain, with groups opposed to it particularly active in the northeastern region of Catalonia.
An opinion poll published annually by Gallup notes that support for the tradition is declining.
The most recent poll last year showed 72 percent of Spaniards have "no interest" in bullfighting, and those over the age of 55 showing the most support for the "corridas."
In parliament, there is "a growing minority who reject bullfighting," said Francisco Garrido, one of the deputies to presenting Thursday's motion. But he said many are afraid to speak out for fear of attracting criticism from voters or the media.
Spanish public broadcaster TVE announced in August that it would no longer broadcast bullfights live in order to protect younger viewers, although they continue to be shown on regional stations and on cable channels.
However, the arenas in Madrid and the southern city of Seville are regularly filled to capacity for the spectacle, which ends with the death of the bull from a well-placed sword.
Subject: Spanish news