Bullfighting involves torturing and killing animals in a very public and bloody way for the entertainment of the audience. It is universally condemned.



Many arguments are put forward for the continuence of bullfighting.

Some of which are:-

It is a tradition
Answer : The age of an action is no argument for its continuance.

It is culture
Answer : Killing and torturing cannot be classified as a cultural activity

The breed of the Iberian fighting bull would die out
Answer : The breed is not the original Iberian bull but a near approximation that has been artificially created. Anyway there is no reason that a few herds could not be kept.

General information

Bullfighting takes place in Europe: Spain, France and Portugal. In South America: Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

Spain is the epicentre of bullfighting in Europe.
Up to 12,000 male cattle, from yearlings upwards, are killed in the bullrings of Spain every year.

Normally there are three bullfighters and six bulls in the programme. Each bullfighter has two bulls.

Each bullfighter has a Cuadrillo (Team of men) to assist him in the ring.

Firstly there is the procession of participants.

When the bull first enters the ring he is caped to see his reactions.

There are three acts to the fight with each bull.

  1. The act of the picadores. The damaging of the muscles of the bulls necks with the pica, a spiked lance. This is done by the picador, a man mounted on a horse. The horse is blindfolded, has his ears stuffed with wads of newspaper and on occasions has his vocal chords cut. The horse is covered with padding, but not everywhere
  2. The placing of the banderillas. Up to six banderillas or harpoons are allowed. These have a 5 cm metal end with a sharp point and barb.
  3. The matador uses the muleta (red cloth and stick) to make a few passes and then with a sword he attempts to kill the bull. He tries to stick the sword between the bull’s shoulder blades into his heart. Very often he pierces the lungs instead or fails to get the sword to penetrate to any depth. If he fails to kill the bull, he uses an Estoque de descabellar (sword with a crosspiece near the point that turns the end into a stabbing knife), with which he attempts to sever the spinal cord behind the head. Finally the bull's spinal cord is cut through with a puntilla (stabbing knife).

The ears and sometimes the tail are cut off and awarded to the bullfighter and the bull is dragged out of the ring. (By a team of mules, horses, one horse, a tractor or a dumper truck.)When all has been done to kill the bull some are still alive when they leave the bullring.

Rejoneo - Bullfighting from Horseback (Spanish Style)

The acts performed in this form of bullfighting are:

  1. 1. Sticking in rejones (spears, in Spain), the actual blades of which are between 25 & 35cms in length Up to three of either are used.
  2. 2. Placing banderillas, with one or both hands and with long or short sticks.. Up to six are used.
  3. 3. Killing, or attempting to kill (in most cases), with a sword.

Tourada - Portuguese bullfighting

The acts performed in this form of bullfighting are:

  1. Sticking in farpas (spears) the actual blades of which are 25cms in length Up to three are used.
  2. Placing banderillas, with one or both hands and with long or short sticks. Up to six are used.

The bull is then physically manhandled and held for a few moments then released by a team of Forcadas (eight men).

Portuguese bullfights always advertise that they do not kill the bull. This is not true.

The bull has to be killed because it would die anyway from the terrible wounds inflicted on it. The only difference is that they are not killed in public view and sometimes have to wait to be taken to a slaughterhouse.

The horses used in this event have rips in their sides from the sharp spurs that are used.

Recent developments in Catalonia

On 28th July 2010 a bill banning bullfighting was passed in Catalonia.
The Catalan parliament voted by a good majority to ban bullfighting in the Catalan region of Spain as of 1st January 2012. It was a decisive vote: 68 for the ban, 55 against it and nine abstentions.

This mover towards the end of bullfighting began In 1988 when Vicki and Tony Moore persuaded mayor Telm Zaragosa to declare Tossa de Mar, in Catalonia to become the first anti bullfighting town in Spain.

As time went by many more towns declared themselves anti bullfight and this culminated in the total ban.

It is wonderful to know that from this small beginning such a great advance has been made.

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for bullfighting throughout the world.

To help curtail bullfighting

Never attend a bullfight, any money you spend will keep it going: Don’t buy souvenirs i.e. posters with your name on, model fighting bulls, postcards portraying bullfighting etc.
Don’t patronise Tour Operators that publicise these events boycott them!