Media Centre

Elen Rivas Calls On Spanish Authorities To Reject Pro-Bullfighting Initiative

For Immediate Release:

9 May 2013

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

London – While her ex-fiancé, Frank Lampard, is generating attention for being on the verge of equalling Chelsea's club record for goals scored, Elen Rivas is hoping to shine a spotlight on an entirely different issue: the Spanish model has appealed to Spanish authorities to reject an initiative to protect and promote bullfighting as a national cultural pastime. Rivas, who previously starred in an anti-bullfighting ad for PETA, wrote to Spain's Culture Committee after an industry-led petition automatically triggered the consideration.

"I am proud of my Spanish heritage, but the fact that some people are still clinging to the tradition of stabbing bulls to death in bullfighting arenas is something that the vast majority of Spaniards, including me, are ashamed of", Rivas writes. "Glorifying the deliberate slaughter of animals should not be tolerated in a civilised society.

Bulls are commonly deprived of food and water for days prior to a "fight", and before entering the ring, they can have the tips of their horns shaved off and petroleum jelly smeared into their eyes to blur their vision. Once in the ring, a bull is repeatedly stabbed by a variety of spears, spikes and daggers, causing tremendous pain and blood loss until the matador finally drives a sword into the exhausted animal. Bullfighting has been on the decline for years, with attendance decreasing and bullrings closing in countries where it is allowed, as more and more people put animal welfare first. Seventy-six per cent of Spaniards say that they have no interest in this barbaric ritual, and the industry survives only because of subsidies from Spanish and EU taxpayers. Any move to protect bullfighting would be a huge step backwards.

For more information and to view the letter, please visit PETA.org.uk.