Valencia mayor’s nod to bloodless, Portuguese-style bullfights rejected both by supporters & opponents

AnimaNaturalis protest against bullfighting during Valencia's 'Fallas'. Photo: Kai Foersterling / EFE via El País
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• Suggestion by Valencia mayor Joan Ribó of Compromís falls on deaf ears •

A suggestion made Monday by Valencia mayor Joan Ribó that Valencians should consider authorizing bloodless, Portuguese-style bullfights in which the animals are not killed but the “artistry of the matador” can be seen by spectators, has been roundly rejected by both supporters and opponents of bullfighting in the city.

Ribó, who is a member of Valencia’s Compromís coalition, aired the idea just a day after a pro-bullfighting demonstration in Valencia on Sunday fielded some 12,000 supporters, midway through the city’s annual, month-long Fallas festival. Smaller groups of anti-bullfighting activists gathered on Saturday and Sunday to protest the killing of more than 100 bulls during the bullfights scheduled as part of this year’s Fallas celebrations.

On Tuesday, Ribó’s suggestion was rejected not only by local leaders of the conservative Partido Popular (PP), the Socialist party (PSOE), the head of the Valencian community’s Unión Taurina and the owner of Valencia’s bullfighting ring, but also by the animal-rights party PACMA and an association of veterinarians against bullfighting, which noted that while bulls are not killed in Portuguese bullfights they nevertheless suffer from the ordeal.

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