An international animal rights NGO has collected over 11,000 signatures on a petition asking the Spanish authorities to channel subsidies for activities involving bulls to other areas of culture affected by the coronavirus restrictions confining people to their homes as well as to the public health sector.
With bull running and bullfighting events cancelled in Spain on account of the health crisis, AnimaNaturalis is calling on the state authorities to devote the funds to “the culture that all Spaniards share, rather than just a minority without empathy or compassion.”
More than 200 bull-running events have been cancelled in Spain due to the coronavirus crisis, says ANOET, the association that represents the sector, while if festivals involving bulls are included, the figure rises to 1,684, almost 10% of the season’s events.
AnimaNaturalis began its initiative to collect signatures 10 days ago on its website, arguing that events involving bulls receive millions of euros of public money every year. It estimates that in Catalonia alone, some 30 local authorities provide a million euros for such events.
“Public money should not be used to promote and pay for shows based on the abuse and mistreatment of animals, and less so in the coming months, when all public efforts and support will need to be devoted to medical resources and to mitigating the economic impact on families, the self-employed, and businesses, ” said the NGO’s head, Aïda Gascón.
Bull events in Catalonia
Parliament banned bullfighting in Catalonia in 2010, but the ban does not affect the ‘correbous’ tradition (bulls running through the streets) since the bulls are not killed. Although Spain’s Constitutional Court overturned the ban in 2016, there have been no bullfights in Catalonia since then for a number of social, political and economic reasons.
An incident in the northern town of Vidreres last summer, in which a bull escaped from its pen and ran amok among the public, revived on bull-related events in Catalonia, with parliament proposing a ban on all such events and animal rights groups creating a lobby against them in January