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International Network against bullfighting presented in Portuguese Parliament

Thursday, July 2nd 2015

Presentation Network Portugal Presentation of the International Network against Bullfighting in Portugal

On July 23, CAS International and representatives of other organizations from bullfighting countries presented the International Network against bullfighting in the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon. The Network consists out of 100 organizations that originate from the bullfighting countries as well as other countries.

During the presentation of the Network several themes were discussed. The declaration of the Committee for the Rights of the Children of the United Nations to protect children from the violence of bullfighting was an important theme of this presentation. Portugal received the recommendation from the UN to keep children away from bullfighting, to raise the minimal age of 6 years to attend a bullfight, and the minimal age of 12 to participate. Sara Oviedo Fierro, vice-president of the Committee for the Rights of the Children, affirmed that the Portuguese government is not following the recommendations of the UN on the rights of children.

Pedro Pedrosa, coordinator of children’s affair at the Portuguese department of Amnesty International, emphasized during the Network's presentation that the Portuguese government allows children to participate in events related to bullfights. Portugal violates the Convention on the Rights of the Children. Besides this, the Portuguese government is not respecting its own Law of Labour, that prohibits the participation of children in cultural events in which children are exposed to danger.

Presentation Network Portugal Presentation of the International Network against Bullfighting in Portugal

Another topic that has been discussed is the necessity to end the subsidies that the bullfighting sector receives. In Portugal the sector gets more than 16 million euros. The veterinary Jose Enrique Zaldivar, president of AVATMA, organization of veterinaries against bullfighting, presented a scientific research on the terrible suffering of the bull during a Portuguese bullfight. According to Marius Kolff, director of CAS, “bullfights in Portugal are much worse than in Spain, because sometimes the bull is suffering for days behind the scenes. In Portugal the bull is not killed in the bullring, in public. Horses are also less protected than in other bullfighting countries. As a result they have a higher possibility of getting injured during a bullfight.”

According to Marius, the presentation of the Network in Portugal was very important: “One of the beautiful things that we can show as a Network is our strength by jointly giving more attention to animal welfare and the rights of children.” During the presentation of the Network, other successes of the International Network in Spain, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and France were explained.

The delegation of the International Network against bullfighting spoke to all the parliamentary groups in Portugal. They agreed that they will ask the Portuguese government to explain itself, since Portugal did not follow the recommendations of the UN on the rights of the children. Besides of this, Bloce Esquerdas promised to take the legislative measures that are needed to realize the main goals of the campaign “Enterrar las Touradas” (bury the bullfights). The campaign, by the Portuguese organization ANIMAL, has two main objectives: to end the flow of subsidies and to protect children according to the recommendations of the UN.


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