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Thousands protest in Madrid, call for end to bullfighting

The protest came after the anti-bullying lobby managed to obtain a ban on the sport. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Madrid, Spain Sep 11, 2016, 03.05 AM (IST)
Thousands of people marched on the streets of Madrid on Saturday calling for an end to bullfighting.

Bullfighting, banned in many countries, is famous in Spain where festivals are celebrated with the chasing, running with, or the killing of animals.

The protest came after the anti-bullying lobby managed to obtain a ban on the sport.

The governement of Castilla y Leon banned the killing of bulls at festivals, a move targeting the Toro de la Vega festival, where horsemen chase a bull and spear it in front of onlookers.

"Bullfighting, the school of cruelty", "Bullfighting, a national shame" were written on some of the banners, which protestors held.

Party Against the Ill-Treatment of Animals (PACMA) said it was "time to end bullfighting and all other bloody spectacles", at the rally.

A poll conducted in January on behalf of animal welfare organisation World Animal Protection, found that only 19 per cent of adults in Spain supported bullfighting, while 58 per cent opposed it, according to Reuters. 

Reuters quoted Chelo Martin Pozo, from seville who attended the rally saying, "Bullfights are a national shame and if they represent me, then I am not Spanish."
 
A poll conducted in January on behalf of animal welfare organisation World Animal Protection, found that only 19 per cent of adults in Spain supported bullfighting, while 58 per cent opposed it. 


Meanwhile, bullfighting aficionados are not giving up without a struggle. For them it is a part of Spain's colourful culture.

Last year, the Bull Foundation was set up, Spain's first pro-bullfighting lobby comprising of breeders and matadors, Press Trust of India reported.

In March this year, in the eastern city of Valencia, a rally made of pro-bullfighting marched promoting the traditional sport. A numbe of pro-bullfighting rlalies have taken place.

However, Spain's Parliament,under center-right government moved to protect the sport in 2013, declaring it a cultural asset.
But Madrid's leftist mayor withdrew subsidies for bullfighting schools.

(WION with inputs from agencies)


 
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