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Home / 15th International Summit against Bullfighting in Madrid

15th International Summit against Bullfighting in Madrid

20-12-2023

On November 25 and 26, the 15th International Summit against Bullfighting took place. This time, the International Anti-Bullfighting Network held its annual conference in the largest bullfighting country of Europe: Spain. The summit was again a great success. Representatives of the eight bullfighting countries and other countries traveled to the municipality of Rivas VaciaMadrid – near the capital Madrid – where the summit took place.

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15th International Summit against Bullfighting in Madrid | Picture: International Anti-Bullfighting Network

Since 2015, Rivas VaciaMadrid has declared itself a “friendly city for animals”. Protecting animals is given priority in municipal policy. For example, bull festivals were abolished in 2009. A model city and therefore an inspiring place to hold our summit. CAS is the secretariat and co-founder of the international network and organizes the summit every year, with the help of other members in the country concerned.

Action in Madrid

On Monday, November 27, we held an action against bullfighting at the Puerta del Sol in the heart of Madrid, where we presented the main conclusions of our summit. The action also symbolized our common struggle. We also asked politicians to have the courage to enter into a debate for a ban.

“The world is watching Spain and now has the opportunity – with the new government – to be an example to the rest of the countries and stop supporting bullfighting,” Estefania Pampin Zuidmeer, CAS campaigner.

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Action against bullfighting | Picture: International Anti-Bullfighting Network

Bullfighting exists in eight countries: Spain, Portugal, France, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. Arturo Berlanga, director of AnimaNaturalis Mexico:

“The governments of these eight bullfighting countries have legalized violence by allowing bullfighting.”

Conclusions 15th International Summit

In all countries we see a sharp decline in interest in bullfighting from society. Maite van Gerwen, director of CAS:

“It is clear that more and more people are becoming aware of the violence inflicted on bulls, cows and horses in bullfights. People accept this violence less and less, especially if it is purely for human entertainment. I am convinced that current developments will continue and in the foreseeable future this cruel popular entertainment will come to an end.”

The summit’s main conclusions:

  • Four of the eight capitals of the bullfighting countries did not hold bullfights in 2022: Mexico City, Bogota, Caracas, Quito.
  • The percentage of the population opposed to bullfighting is increasing. Now the majority of the population is against it. According to a poll conducted by newspaper Reforma Diaro (2022), 73% of Mexicans consider bullfighting to be animal cruelty. A poll conducted by Datexco (2022) shows that 85% of Colombians agree with a ban on bullfighting. And eight out of ten Spaniards oppose to it as well, according to a survey by the BBVA Foundation (2022).
  • In the eight countries, the number of bullfights is decreasing. In France, they decreased by 40% over the past 20 years. In Spain they decreased by 58% since 2007 and in Ecuador by 65% in the last 11 years.

Action against bullfighting | Picture: International Anti-Bullfighting Network

  • Bullfighting is on the political agenda. Several politicians called for its abolition. In Colombia, several bills to ban bullfighting have been proposed by society and politicians. In Mexico, a ban was achieved in five states.
  • An increasing number of local, state and national governments in the eight countries are taking measures to protect minors from the violence of bullfighting. Ecuador and Portugal have banned the entry of minors under 18 and 16, respectively. Similar measures have been taken in several states in Venezuela and Mexico. This fulfills the United Nations’ requirements to protect children from bullfighting.
  • However, Spain does not do enough to protect children from this violence and lags behind other bullfighting countries.
  • Fewer and fewer people attend bullfights. At the same time, public outrage is growing. A large part of society considers animals as sentient beings. People no longer accept that animals are mistreated for entertainment.
  • A general trend is the lack of interest of young people in bullfighting.
  • More and more companies and banks stop sponsoring and/or promoting bullfighting. Recently, Mercedes-Benz France, Pernod Ricard, Novotel, Banque de Suez, Crédit Agricole and Groupama have distanced themselves from bullfighting.

Action against bullfighting | Picture: International Anti-Bullfighting Network

Compassionate culture

Finally, from the International Network, we call on politicians to listen to society and take action to protect animals from the violence of bullfighting. It is democratic to take the opinion of the majority of society seriously and support compassionate culture.

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