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The goring to death of several people this summer in Spanish bullrings has highlighted a most horrific form of organised animal cruelty.
The romantic image of the Corrida no longer fools many people. The sight of the swashbuckling matador, swishing his cape to taunt a mighty opponent, is an illusion. The animal is weakened before entering the ring by being beaten over the kidneys, and having Vaseline rubbed into its eyes to impair its already poor sight.
And then, prior to the matador’s supposedly brave final showdown with the bull, the animal is subjected to repeated stabbing. The exhausted creature is bleeding from numerous wounds as the “heroic” performer prepares to plunge his sword into its quivering pain-racked body.
The argument that this is a cultural event in Spain and therefore none of our business is flawed, as one could make a similar bogus case for any depraved spectacle citing culture or tradition: bear baiting or cock fighting for example.
That such a practice is still legal within the EU is mind-boggling, but an even greater scandal is that EU subsidies (taxpayers’ money) to breeders of fighting bulls are helping keep the blood sport alive. Last year, a European Parliament motion on ending this financial backing for animal cruelty was narrowly defeated.
When the issue comes up for debate again I hope that MEPs, including our own, will give the thumbs down to bullfighting.
Campaign for the Abolition Of Cruel Sports
Lower Coyne St
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