40,000 rally in Madrid to protest Spain's bullfighting tradition

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
MADRID
Published
Activists throw red powder during a protest against bullfighting in Madrid, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo)
Activists throw red powder during a protest against bullfighting in Madrid, Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AP Photo)

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Madrid on Sunday for a nationwide ban on bullfighting in Spain.

Protesters also demanded the removal of all spectacles involving bulls from the national cultural heritage register, the end of the support of such events using taxpayer money and stronger animal protection laws.

More than 40,000 people took part in the demonstration, according to organizers from the activists' group Tauromaquia Es Violencia (TeV; Bullfighting is Violence).

On central Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, around 500 activists broke bullfighter lances that released a cloud of red powder to symbolize the blood of the 20,000 bulls that are killed each year in Spain during events that often have a centurieslong history.

Protesters carried placards with phrases such as, "Bullfighting: National Disgrace."

"It is backward that, in the 21st century, animals are still being tortured for fun and that it's being financed with public money," Laura Gonzalo, a spokeswoman for TeV, told the Spanish news agency Europa Press.

Spain's conservative government reduced the value-added tax for bullfighting to 10 percent in 2017. The tradition of bullfighting - corrida de toros in Spanish - was declared a "national cultural heritage" in 2013 and can therefore be supported with public funding.

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