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Home / CAS at presentation of citizens’ initiative in Valencia

CAS at presentation of citizens’ initiative in Valencia


In February, the Spanish Congress gave green light to start collecting signatures for the citizens’ initiative that aims to repeal the law declaring bullfighting as cultural heritage. And that means the process of collecting signatures has begun! In March, the citizens’ initiative was officially presented in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. And in the coming weeks it will be launched in other Spanish cities as well.

citizens' initiative

CAS at presentation of citizens’ initiative in Valencia | Foto: CAS/AnimaNaturalis

The initiators of the citizens’ initiative must collect 500,000 signatures over the next nine months so that Congress can process the citizens’ initiative. A ban on bullfighting in Spain is not possible now because of its cultural heritage status. As a result, Spanish states and municipalities are unable to regulate bullfighting themselves. But the citizens’ initiative could change that. With the revocation of cultural heritage status, states and municipalities will be free to ban cruel bullfighting.

Presentation of citizens’ initiative in Valencia

Our director Maite van Gerwen attended the presentation of the initiative in the city of Valencia on behalf of CAS. During the presentation, the citizens’ initiative was explained. Both the content and purpose of the initiative were discussed, but also the method for collecting signatures. This is because this must all be done on paper and registered people are needed who oversee the registration of signatures as a kind of notary. Only people of Spanish nationality are allowed to sign and the people collecting signatures must therefore also check the identity documents and make sure that all the data are correct. Maite van Gerwen:

“The energy of those present to get started was palpable. It is great to see that all those present are so motivated to get involved. I am convinced that the necessary signatures will actually get there.”


Maite van Gerwen present during the presentation in Valencia | Foto: AnimaNaturalis

Decreasing interest

It has been more than 10 years since the Spanish government declared bullfighting as cultural heritage in 2013. Despite this legal protection, the annual number of bullfights has steadily declined. According to data coming from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the number of bullfights has halved in the last decade (from 2,684 in 2009 to 1,425 in 2019). The same ministry surveyed how many people go to bullfighting and bull festivals: in 2018-2019 it was only 8 percent of the Spanish population.

According to recent surveys, more than 50 percent of Spaniards are in favor of banning or limiting bullfighting (SocioMétrica, 2019). In addition, a study by Fundación BBVA in 2022 showed that 8 out of 10 Spaniards are against the use of animals for bullfighting.

Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more news about this citizens’ initiative!

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