Sarkozy, Zapatero in the dock at Swiss bullfight 'trial'
The head of governments were at a symbolic "trial" organised by anti-bullfighting organisations in Geneva.23 June 2008
GENEVA - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero were in the dock Monday at a symbolic "trial" organised by anti-bullfighting organisations in Geneva.
The heads of government were accused of "allowing bullfights and not doing anything to ban them," said Vera Weber, spokeswoman for Swiss animal rights group the Franz Weber Foundation.
Portraits of the two men adorn the hall where the "International Court of Justice for Animal Rights" is in session, along with those of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and former Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio and his then prime minister Jose Manuel Barroso, who now heads the European Commission.
The two Portuguese are accused of allowing bulls to be killed in public in several villages in the country.
Foundation head Franz Weber, who is a noted Swiss ecologist, said bullfighting is a "nauseating spectacle of torture and carnage" and denounced a bid by the bullfighting lobby to have it recognised by UNESCO as part of the "world's cultural heritage".
He claimed that more than 40,000 bulls are killed each year in Europe in the ring.
The campaigners rejected claims that bullfighting is a "noble and brave" tradition, saying that "if human or animal welfare is compromised, tradition is no longer an important factor when considering whether a practice should be banned or not."
[AFP / Expatica]
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