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Home / Protest in Valencia against bullfighting

Protest in Valencia against bullfighting

07-04-2022

After two years of pandemics, bullfighting took place again in March in the Spanish city of Valencia. CAS International and AnimaNaturalis protested against the bloody event. The bullfights were held during the Fallas, a traditional feast that is held every year in Valencia.

Fallera Valencia © CAS International

On 13 March, CAS and AnimaNaturalis protested near the bullring of Valencia. In principle, the Fallas have nothing to do with animal suffering: sculptures of wood and papier-mâché play an important role in this week-long celebration. At the end of the festivities, the statues are set on fire. Bullfights are held during Fallas, but in essence have nothing to do with the fiesta.

We wanted to make this clear during the protest and therefore a fallera played the main role in our protest. The falleras are women dressed in beautiful traditional dresses. They are the face of the Fallas. In our protest, a fallera was given the role of a victim of bullfighting, bloodied and surrounded by banners with images of bullfighters who are about to kill a bull.

© CAS International

Eliana Guerrero, coordinator of AnimaNaturalis Valencia:

“The debate on the future of bullfighting in Spain has never been so lively and the authorities have a duty to take a stand on this issue without taking half-hearted measures. The pandemic has shown that society does not miss bullfighting and that this bloody industry depends on government subsidies and support. Fiestas should celebrate life and not death, they should promote the culture that unites us and not that which divides us, the one that makes us proud to be Valencian and not the one that fills us with shame.”

Estefania Pampin Zuidmeer, employee Projects & Publicity, grew up in the state of Valencia and is familiar with the Fallas:

“The Fallas are a symbol of creativity and imagination. The papier-mâché sculptures are gracious and intended to make the public laugh or make them think. The bullfights, on the other hand, are a symbol of death. The bullfighter has to dominate and master an innocent animal with various instruments of torture. The contrast could not be greater. The bullfights give the Fallas a thick, black edge.”

Official dates

According to official data from the Ministry of Culture of Spain and from the association of veterinarians AVATMA, there has been a sharp decline in the number of bullfights since 2016. According to the Ministry of Culture, only 9.5% of Spaniards went to a bullfight between 2014-2015. Of these, 2 of every 10 visitors received a free ticket. In addition, we know that in 2018, 90.5% of Spaniards did not attend a bullfight. In the survey, 40 % indicated that they have no interest whatsoever in events with bulls. Furthermore, it emerged that 20% do not know the rules of the bullfight.

Even though more than 90% of Spaniards do not go to the bullfight, more than 9,000 bulls will die this year. More than 50,000 will be hired to be exploited during bullfights. Afterwards, they will be killed or recycled.

80% of the spectacles with bulls in Spain take place in the regions of Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, Ávila and Cuenca. In three federal states, bullfighting is banned or has disappeared: Catalonia, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.

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