Spanish bullfighters want 700 million Euro amid COVID-19 crisis to save controversial ‘sport’

Yvonne O'Halloran

Spain is on lockdown until at least April 12th due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in businesses having no choice but to close their doors. Bullfighting is one of these businesses affected by the lockdown, because fans are unable to gather in stadiums to watch animals suffer needlessly for their entertainment.

Several organisations that promote bullfights put together a joint letter the culture minister asking José Rodriguez Uribes to save bullfighting by giving them 700 million euro (or $1.26 million Australian dollars) in taxpayers cash for ticket refunds, to pay Matador’s wages, and cover vet bills.

There is currently a petition out to demand the Spanish government denies this payout. You can sign the petition here. As Spanish residents are unable to protest on the streets, hundreds of angry activists took to social media to try and stop their requests for money. The Twitter hashtag that became their number one quickly ‘#AyudasTauromaquiaNO’ meaning ‘no help to bullfighting’.

There’s been no confirmation from the government yet on if they will provide the payout. Madrid-based Marta Esteban of Animal Guardians, said the bullfighting sector – which already gets government funding – seemed to want hundreds of millions of euros more. She stated: ‘In a moment in which the rest of Spain is giving its all to help each other, the bullfighting world is thinking on how to get money from us to help themselves. The business of torturing animals for entertainment should never get public funding, much less now when the health system and helping the most needy should be the priority’.

So do Spanish people still want this cruel sport to continue? It seems more oppose it than support it. A 2016 poll found that 58% of Spaniards between the ages of 16 and 65 opposed it, while 19 percent supported it. The same polling found that only one in 10 Spaniards wanted public funds used on the bullfighting industry, while 6 of 10 strongly disagreed. Figures also showed that there were 58 percent fewer bullfights in Spain last year than a decade previously.

 

 

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