Bullfighting banned from € 400 COVID “culture recovery voucher” in Spain for adolescents
The Spanish government is offering citizens who turn 18 next year € 400 to spend on cultural activities. It is estimated that half a million teens will be able to participate in the action, provided they do not wish to attend bullfighting events.
Spain’s national budget for 2022 revealed that eligible teens could spend their 400 euros on items such as cinema and theater tickets, booksand concerts.
It’s a move that has been hailed by animal rights groups and frowned upon by traditionalists – albeit fair 8 percent of the population are believed to still be attending the controversial shows.
The goal is to help Spanish culture-related businesses recover from lost revenue during lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bullfighting companies want to participate in the great plan to revive Spanish culture
The tradition has fallen out of favor with much of Spanish society, especially young city dwellers. The Spaniards have come together to watch the baiting and slaughtering of bulls for over 2,000 years
But now proposals have been tabled to ban those under the age of 16 from attending sports.
Delegates to the 40th Federal Congress in Valencia will examine potential changes to stop promoting and subsidizing sport as an important event in Spain. It has been banned in more than 100 cities across the country over the past decade, and in eight other countries further afield, such as Denmark, the UK and Italy.
There are few visible supporters in Spain’s left-wing coalition government, made up of the Socialist Party and the United We Can Party.
Providing cultural opportunities for young people in this way is expected to cost the state around 190 million euros.
Conservative opposition parties criticized the government for ignoring bullfights. The Fundación Toro de Lidia, which represents the bullfighting industry, complained that Spanish law classifies bullfighting as part of the country’s cultural heritage.
The Ministry of Culture declared in a written memo to the state-run Efe news agency that “whatever our legislation considers culture will not fall under this cultural support”.
What do animal rights groups think about the move?
“This decision by the Spanish government is another indication that the tide is turning against cruel and archaic bullfights,” said a representative of animal rights organization PETA told Euronews Culture.
PETA says the sport – along with face value issues regarding animal violence – uses “barbaric” methods to weaken and debilitate animals.
Bulls selected to take part in shows are known to be drugged, slapped with sandbags, and have petroleum jelly in their eyes to confuse them. What in some circles would be considered a “successful” performance by the matador often leads to the animal’s ears being cut off and presented as a trophy.
“Since the overwhelming majority of Spaniards – especially members of the younger generations – oppose these bloody spectacles in which sentient animals are tortured to death for entertainment, it is only a matter of time before that the whole country does not join the more than 100 Spanish cities, which have already declared themselves against bullfighting, ”said the representative.