• ‘Bullfighting is violence’ focuses on sacrifice of bulls during San Isidro festival
• More than 200 animals killed over multi-day fete honoring Madrid patron saint
Thousands of anti-bullfighting protesters marched through Madrid Saturday on the first day of the city’s three-day patron-saint festival of San Isidro, drawing attention to the killing of more than 200 animals throughout festival weekend festivities and calling for an end to bullfighting across Spain.
Organized by the umbrella group Tauromaquia es violencia (“Bullfighting is violence”), which is comprised of more than 17 Spanish and global animal-rights groups and supported by more than 100 social justice, environmental and political organizations, the protest Saturday from Calle Bailen to Puerta del Sol and was timed to maximize attention on the killing of an estimated 204 animals at more than 30 bullfights taking place in Madrid in conjunction with the annual San Isidro commemoration.
Caling for an ultimate ban on all bullfighting in Spain, the march organizers said the Spanish government should immediately take action to stop its promotion of the torture and killing of animals, pointing to the current conservative Partido Popular (PP) government’s reduction of the retail sales tax (VAT) charged on ticket sales to bullfighting events from the standard 21 percent to 10 percent as just one of the ways taxpayers are made to bear the brunt of government-subsidized bullfighting in Spain.
In addition, they said Spain needs to comply with guidelines and recommendations that have been issued by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on five separate occasions, calling for young children to be shielded from the viewing the violence of bullfighting spectacles and for broadcasters not to televise live bullfights or to transmit programming promoting bullfighting during children’s customary viewing hours.