Spain cancels National Bullfighting Award

Spain cancels National Bullfighting Award

Spain has canceled its annual National Bullfighting Award in response to increasing criticism from animal welfare advocates. The national award included a 30,000-euro government cheque.

“There is a social majority of Spaniards that is increasingly aware of animal welfare,” Ernest Urtasun, the Spanish Minister of Culture, said on Friday. “With the elimination of the National Bullfighting Award, we are taking an important step in adapting our institutions to the Spain of 2024.”

Bullfighting, in which matadors kill bulls with swords, is seen by supporters as an art form to be preserved. However, critics denounce it as a brutal ritual that is out of place in modern society.

In 2013, the National Bullfighting Award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the world of bullfighting. 

Urtasun stressed that attendance at bullfighting events is declining as concerns over animal welfare are rising. Spaniards understand less and less why animal torture is practiced in our country, he said on social media platform X. “And much less why that torture gets awarded with public money.”

Bullfighting has also faced growing opposition in Latin America and France. In Spain, the average age of bullfighting supporters has risen, and the number of bullfighting festivals has fallen by a third between 2010 and 2023.

The Spanish political party PACMA said that it fully supported the decision to eliminate the National Bullfighting Award but hoped that “the gestures become steps.”

PACMA wants the government to also stop all funding to bullfighting events.

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