Spain’s Bullfighting Schools Must Be Shut Down
Shocking footage released this week reveals that children have been torturing calves to death as part of a practical exam at a bullfighting school in Madrid. Children as young as 14 are taught to torment and torture the young bulls and ultimately kill them.
Spanish animal rights group PACMA, which released the footage, reports that attendance at the school is dwindling. The number of students enrolled has gone from 111 in 2003 to just 48 in 2013. This is hardly surprising. We’ve known for a long time that most Spanish people have no interest in bullfights or other barbaric events in which animals are killed for “sport”. But the school is being propped up by the government, from which it just received a €30,000 prize.
These bullfighting schools must be shut down, not awarded cash. In addition to ignoring the right of bulls not to be tortured, they are flagrantly ignoring the United Nation’s (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child‘s report that exposure to bullfighting violates children’s rights. Committee Vice President Sara Oviedo says:
[T]he participation of children and adolescents in bullfighting activities constitutes a grave violation of the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child … as they are being indoctrinated for a violent act.
For a child, being forced to watch a bullfight can be traumatic enough, but encouraging children to participate in deliberately harming and killing an animal for “amusement” sends all the wrong messages to developing young minds and can lead young people to become adults who are dangerously desensitised to violence and have been stripped of their natural empathy. Compassion and kindness, not enthusiasm for inflicting pain and engaging in gratuitous violence, are the qualities that children need.
The UN Committee recommended that children should not attend or participate in bullfighting events because of their extreme violence – it’s time that countries that still prop up this disgusting and dying industry put a stop to it, for the sake of children and bulls alike.
You Can Help
Please sign our petition to the Prime Minister of Spain calling for a national ban on bullfights and bull runs in Spain: