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Anti-bullfighting protest in The Hague, The Netherlands

Thursday, April 6th 2017


CAS International © CAS International

On April 1, CAS International organized a silent action against bullfighting in The Hague, the political centre of The Netherlands. It was April Fool's but this was not a joke: in Europe bullfights are still held in Spain, Portugal and France. This year, many children will witness a bullfight. The bullfighting season in Europe has just begun. This action is part of a campaign by CAS International to gain support from the Dutch and European Parliaments.

Their suffering is our suffering Some of the demonstrators stood with red hands, symbolizing blood, and their mouths taped close, in front of the Dutch Parliament. Their message: if we keep silent and look away, we have blood on our hands. The other demonstrators stood in black clothes, with in front of their faces a part of a piece of art made by Koen Spaas: the picture of a bull’s head, because the suffering of the bull is our suffering too. Marius Kolff, director of CAS International: 

“To take children to a bloody bullfight is like going with the whole family to an abattoir and watch how a cow is slaughtered. Bullfights are bad enough for the youth and older people. But to expose children to this is unforgivable since it causes irreparable psychic damage. This has been proven!”

Protest The Hague © CAS International

CAS international asks attention for several topics. First of all, there must come an end to the animal suffering in bullfights. Animals suffer unbearable pains during these types of events. Secondly, the breeders of fighting bulls receive European agricultural subsidies, approximately 130 million euros. A new system is required to prevent the flow of European subsidies to these breeders. In the current system it is not clear which breeders are actually breeding fighting bulls. The European Union is thus sponsoring an activity that is prohibited in the majority of countries in Europe.

The Rights of Children
CAS International is also worried about the children that are being exposed to the violence in bullfights and feasts with bulls. The United Nations already asked several bullfighting countries to keep children away from the violence of bullfighting. The European Union also needs to keep an eye on the rights of children. It is necessary to prohibit the entrance of children to bloody, cruel events with animals. CAS International is also worried about the bullfighting schools, where children learn how to bullfight and kill an animal. It is required to raise the registration age to 18 years.

Bullfighting does no longer fits in the modern societies of Spain, France and Portugal. The majority of the population in these countries is against bullfighting, because it is considered to be animal maltreatment. The interest from the public decreases every year. Despite this, organizers of bullfights can still count on support by the authorities.

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