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Spain declares bullfighting to be Cultural Heritage

Thursday, November 7th 2013

CAS International together with other organizations in the Spanish Senate © CAS InternationalCAS International together with other organizations in the Spanish Senate © CAS International

On Wednesday, November 6, the Spanish Senate declared bullfighting to be Cultural Heritage. This decision does not affect the prohibition of bullfighting in Catalonia.

In februari 2012 a citizen's initiative that aimed to protect bullfighting was officially approved. This initiative had three important goals: to declare bullfighting as Heritage of Spain (Bien de Interés Cultural), to promote bullfighting in case an autonomous community wanted to prohibit this and to cancel the prohibition of bullfighting in Catalonia. Those three goals have not been achieved. Bullfighting is now cultural heritage (Patrimonio Cultural) but only symbolically so. The Spanish government or the autonomous communities do not have any obligation to protect bullfighting. Probably the bullfighting sector will receive more subsidies.

However, the new status of bullfighting as Patrimonio Cultural makes it possible to be considered as intangible heritage on the list of UNESCO. We want to avoid this, and we ask you to sign a petition to prevent UNESCO to put bullfighting on the List of World Heritage.

 Despite these developments CAS remains hopeful about the future. CAS International has worked together with several international organizations (Humane Society International, World Society for the Protection of Animals, League Against Cruel Sports, PETA and the platform La Tortura No Es Cultura) in the campaign #LoveSpainHateBullfights to prevent bullfighting to receive any protected status. We have lobbied intensively in the Spanish Congress and Senate and now that our contacts with political parties are well established, a dialogue is taking place. Only the Spanish PP, which has the absolute majority in the Spanish Senate, voted in favor of the law initiative. We know that only 8% of the Spaniards do attend bullfights and that a staggering 80% of the Spaniards is against its subsidizing. Even though bullfighting may have received a protected status, we know that the quantity of visitors to bullfights is decreasing, while numbers of visitors to cinema and theater is increasing. The end of bullfighting is nearby.

CAS International will continue with the political lobby and campaigns of awareness in Spain, together with our sister organizations. We support the initiative Pan y Toros (Bread and Bulls), a citizen's initiative that aims to prohibit bullfighting in Spain. CAS International will collaborate with Spanish organizations to make this initiative a success!


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