Animal Voice - 2006 Bullfighting Edition
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports
In This Issue:
01. Success: Website removes bullfight content
ICABS is delighted to report that an Irish company has deleted bullfighting references from a website aimed at tourists in Spain. Kerry-based Gulliver Infores Services Ltd made the positive move after we highlighted the cruelty of bullfighting.
ICABS has applauded the company for making the changes to the "alltravelspain" website.
This summer, you can express your opposition to bullfighting by not only boycotting the bullrings but also the towns and villages which host the blood sport.
A new website launched by the League Against Cruel Sports is listing locations around the world where permanent bullrings are in place. The list exposes cruelty black spots in France, Portugal, Spain, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, USA and Venezuela.
The League is calling on holidaymakers to consult the list before booking a holiday. "The best way you can help our campaign is to boycott towns with permanent bullrings in active use," a spokesperson commented. "Choose instead to visit bullfighting-free towns."
They also suggest boycotting travel agents, tour operators, hotels and restaurants which actively promote bullfighting.
For the full list, please visit the League's Boycott the Bloodbath website and click on "What can you do about Bullfighting?". Alternatively, click on the following link to download the complete list in Microsoft Word format. If you have friends and family visiting a country which permits bullfighting, please give them a copy of the list. Thank you.
A member of the Irish parliament has made a bizarre comparison between one of the world's most abhorrent blood sports and genuine sporting pursuits like football and hurling.
Cecilia Keaveney, TD stated: "Research from Jordanstown university reveals that with the GAA (Gaelic football, hurling, etc) being a family-friendly sport, drug-free and amateur, it could be the greatest catalyst to attract tourists to Ireland, equivalent to the phenomenon of bullfighting in Spain or that of sumo wrestling in Japan in that it is unique."
The Fianna Fail TD for Donegal North East made the comments during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Arts, Sport, Tourism, Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs last September. They only recently came to our attention.
ICABS has written to Deputy Keaveney to complain about the comparison. "GAA sports participants and Japan's sumo wrestlers would, we suspect, object to being compared to those who torture and kill animals for entertainment," we stated.
Also pointed out was the fact that most Spaniards are now opposed to bullfighting and don't want bullfighting to be representative of their country.
In response, Deputy Keaveney wrote: "Bull fighting is synonymous with Spain whether we like it or not. It is (and I have Spanish in-laws) factual."
Asked if she was opposed to bullfighting, she remarked: "I am not aware that bull fighting has been an issue in Donegal North East either recently or in past memory."
Please write to Cecilia Keaveney, TD and ask her to clarify her views on bullfighting. Ask her to condemn the activity instead of comparing it to sports.
The official website for the promotion of Peru describes a blood-spattered animal fight as a "popular festivity".
In its Culture and Traditions section, the www.peru.info site graphically outlines how July's horrific Yawar Fiesta event sees a bull being attacked by a condor bird and a group of bullfighters.
It states: "The locals celebrate Independence Day with a bullfight whose symbolic characteristics have turned it into a ritual. Taking part are a bull and a condor, portraying the Spanish and Andean worlds, respectively. Once the condor has been trapped, it is lashed to the bull's back, which the bird pecks at savagely in a bid to free itself. At the same time, the bull is released in the ring and surrounded by spontaneous bullfighters who fend off the animal with their ponchos. The bull, maddened with pain, leaps into the air trying to rid itself of the condor. Finally, when the bull has been overcome - and it usually is - the condor is set free amidst music and general rejoicing. If the condor is badly wounded, or dies, it is taken as an omen for the village."
Please send an email to the Commission for the Promotion of Peru to register your opposition to the condor-bullfight as practised at the Yawar Fiesta in the village of Ccollurqui. Ask the commission to stop promoting this event on its website.
Commission for the Promotion of Peru
Please send a copy of your letter to the following:
Embassy of Peru (United Kingdom)
(Embassies of Peru in other countries can be found at: http://www.embassy-worldwide.com/country/peru/)
Alan Gabriel Ludwig Garcia Perez
(Note: Alan Gabriel Ludwig Garcia Perez is the new president of Peru. He assumed office on July 28 2006.)
Pedro Pablo Kuczynski
ICABS was dismayed to discover that an international student travel body is providing details about bullfighting on its website.
Students visiting the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) website are presented with details about bullfight times, dates and even contact details for bullring venues.
The following are just some of the many bullfight references which appear on the website...
Beziers Bullfighting Festival, France
Easter Feria (Bullfights)
Nimes Pentecost Festival
Toulouse Fenouillet Feria
Please contact the ISTC and appeal to them to stop publishing information about bullfighting on their website. Tell them that by suggesting a visit to a bullfight as a holiday activity, they are helping to keep the blood sport alive.
Joop van Putten, Chairman
Tel: +31 20 421 28 00
Dear Mr van Putten,
I wish to register a complaint about the presence of numerous bullfighting references on the ISTC website. I appeal to you and the ISTC to please stop publicising this cruel blood sport on your site.
By presenting specific information about bullfighting locations, dates, times and even contact details for bullring venues, I believe that your organisation is helping to keep this internationally condemned activity alive.
I hope that you can consider this appeal and I look forward to visiting a bullfight-free ISTC website in the future.
HP has been asked by ICABS to stop trivialising the Pamplona bullrun in a printer advert.
The light-hearted ad, broadcast on online radio station accuradio, refers to photos taken of "Uncle Jack running with the bulls in Pamplona".
In our correspondence to HP, we pointed out that:
"On the grounds that the Pamplona bull run involves animal cruelty and poses a risk of injury and death to those who travel to it, we appeal to HP to stop publicising it in its advertisements," ICABS said in its appeal.
Please contact HP and ask them to stop giving publicity to the bullrun.
Tel: (650) 857-1501
I am writing to register my disapproval of a HP radio advert which makes reference to the cruel bullrun event at Pamplona. Bulls are terrorised and abused during bullruns and are brutally killed in a bullring later in the day. I hope your company will stop publicising Pamplona in your advertising campaign.
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
(Source of information: International Movement Against Bullfights)
The Thailand branch of Qatar Airways has used a bullfight photo to advertise it flights to Spain, ICABS has learned.
The advert, which highlights flights from Bangkok to Madrid, displays a matador waving a cape at a charging bull. Blood can be seen on the tortured creature's back.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports finds it entirely unacceptable for any airline to suggest a trip to a bullring as a holiday activity. We have written to the company to ask them to eliminate blood sport imagery from their marketing campaigns.
Please join us in our appeal to Qatar Airways.
Salam Al Shawa
Qatar Airways (Thailand)
Tel: +66 2 259 3560
Dear Mr Salam Al Shawa,
I wish to register my disappointment at a Qatar Airways advertisement which uses a bullfighting photograph to encourage people to fly to Spain. I understand that the advert was published by Qatar's branch in Thailand.
As I am sure you are aware, bullfighting is a form of animal cruelty which millions of people around the world want to see ended. Even a majority of Spaniards are opposed to this outdated spectacle which results in horrific injury and death to bulls and horses every year.
I was surprised that your company chose to associate itself with bullfighting. I hope that you can assure me that bullfighting will no longer be publicised by Qatar.
Thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from you.
Bullfighting is reviled all over the world for its horrific cruelty to bulls. What many may not know, however, is that horses also suffer greatly during the blood sport. Maria Lopes of the International Movement Against Bullfights highlights the plight of this forgotten victim of bullfighting.
What is a bullfight and who suffers in this bloody so-called sport?
In Anglo-Saxon countries it is sometimes regarded as a sport, perhaps due to lack of knowledge.
It is, after all, banned throughout the UK and the Commonwealth nations, as well as most of Europe. In countries where bullfighting is allowed, it is increasingly becoming recognised as sheer barbarity. This savagery involves two beautiful animals - bulls and horses. While the bulls are guaranteed to die, the future of the horses is often no brighter.
Bullfights take place in three European countries - France, Portugal and Spain - and in some parts of Latin America. In some states of North America, a form of bullfighting is permitted but the animal is covered with velcro and the spears used are imitation.
It's commonly believed that in Portuguese bullfights, bulls or horses don't suffer, unlike the Spanish versions. This is, unfortunately, a myth since the suffering is the same in both bullfight styles.
The only difference is that in Spanish bullrings the bull is killed in the ring instead of in the slaughterhouse when the "entertainment" is over.
Every year more than 50,000 bulls are killed in bullfights in Europe alone. Countless horses die or suffer severe injuries.
Bullfighters claim that bulls bred for bullfights are aggressive and fearsome animals. This is also untrue. They fight because they are fighting for their lives.
But bulls are not the only creatures to suffer in bullrings. The tormented bull does not understand that it is the man on the horse's back that is causing his pain and he therefore sees the horse as his enemy as much as the man.
It's not unusual for horses used in bullfights to be so badly gored by the bulls that they have to be killed, but only after they have been dragged from the ring and out of view of the spectators.
Spanish bullfights also employ "picadors" - men on horseback armed with spears. These horses are often gored even though they are protected by what is termed a "peto" or a protective cape. These petos often do little more than hide the horses' wounds.
The horses are blind-folded to prevent them from becoming terror-stricken at the charge of the bull. It is commonly believed that their ears are stuffed with cotton wool - to prevent them from panicking - and their vocal cords cut to stop them screaming with fear at the bull's attack.
As little as 12 days ago in Madrid, another horse was gored by a bull and had to be killed.
This is the fate of these beautiful animals. To be used to entertain a crowd that lusts for blood and claims that bullfighting is a tradition and "cultural heritage".
What about the brave matadors, picadors and their ilk? Bullfighters are rarely injured and seldom killed in the ring. With their armoury of weapons to weaken the bull until it can no longer fight, their lives are not at great risk. In fact, in the last 50 years only 10 bullfighters have been killed worldwide.
Should you ever find yourself in a country where bullfighting is practised, please do not be tempted to attend one of these sadistic displays. The continuation of bullfighting depends on government subsidies and the tourist industry. Don't be an accomplice to this savagery by supporting it.
More information on the work of the International Movement Against Bullfights can be found on their website at www.iwab.org
Peru Tourism Bureau is suggesting that visitors to the country consider attending a bullfighting festival in the capital.
On their website, the bureau highlights how Lima has a bullfighting season and that it "features some major bullfighters from Spain and Latin America". Details about a bullfighting museum are also presented.
Please join us in our appeal for the site to eliminate bullfight information. Point out that Peru doesn't need animal cruelty events to attract tourists since it is one of the planet's prettiest places with a wide range of options for visitors.
Mr Marco Arbulu
To view photos and video clips of bullfighting cruelty, please visit the Irish Council Against Blood Sports website (Gallery and Videos sections). A "Holidaymakers - Make your holiday cruelty-free!" leaflet can be downloaded from the website's Leaflets section. Why not print some copies and ask your local travel agents to display them. Thank you.
Visit the Petitions page of the ICABS website and click on the links to sign some petitions. Among the petitions waiting for your support are "Ban Bullfighting" and "Ban Bullfighting in Catalonia". Please let your friends know about the petitions and ask them to sign them too.
Anti-bullfighting group, Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe, has released a charity CD featuring four tracks sung by co-founder, Vicki Moore.
Vicki sadly died in 2000 after a long struggle with the legacy of her injuries from being gored by a fighting bull whilst filming undercover in Spain.
Husband Tony Moore commented: "Vicki sacrificed her career for the animals. This CD is a tribute to her and I believe that the four tracks we selected will do her artistic side justice. I hope that the CD highlights Vicki's story and will inspire others to take up a commitment for animals or people."
The CD is priced at £9.99 and proceeds from the sale go towards the great work of FAACE. To purchase a copy, please click on the following link: www.faace.co.uk/cd.htm
Every year in July, the Spanish town of Denia holds a cruel bullrunning event known as the Bous a la Mar. The event is staged to commemorate the Day of the Sacred Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (el Dia de la Santisima a Sangre de Nuestro Senor Jesucristo). The cows used are chased and hit by people carrying sticks; the aim is to try to get the animals to jump off the edge of the harbour and into the Mediterranean.
Commenting on this variation of bullrunning, Tony Moore of FAACE told ICABS: "The cows are brought from village to village and are kept in a very poor way, sometimes in the back of a cattle truck. They are taken to the dock side and let loose one at a time where the younger people of the area try and get them to jump off the sea wall and into the sea. They are then towed by a rowing boat, with a rope around their horns, back to a place where they are dragged out again."
"They have a very short life expectancy of about six weeks from the time they start on the circuit," he added. "The main problem for them is the ingestion of sea water and the bad life they have. They only drown by mischance but it has been known for them to try to swim out to sea."
Please send a protest email to the authorities listed below.
Mayor of Denia
Denia Department of Environment
A man was left with paralysed legs after being hit by a cow during Pamplona's bullrunning festival.
As reported by the Associated Press, 31-year-old Bank of America employee, Ray Ducharme, "was injured in what is known as a vaquilla, in which hundreds of people chase five cows around the bull ring, pulling their ears and tail".
Following the incident, Mr Ducharme underwent a 90-minute operation at the Hospital de Navarra to re-attach two vertebrae. A Pamplona government spokesperson was quoted as saying: "He is paralysed in the legs, and will have partial use of his arms. He is in very serious condition."
Seven other injuries were reported during the bullrun itself, including at least two serious ones: New Zealander David MacDowell, 25, was gored in the thigh, and a Pamplona native, Ramon Garayoa, 46, fell and was trampled on.
Over the years, 13 people have been killed and numerous others injured during the Pamplona event.
ICABS has thanked a car rental company for responding positively to our latest anti-bullfight appeal. After spotting references to Spanish and Mexican bullfighting on the company's website - www.carrentals.co.uk - ICABS highlighted the cruelty of the blood sport and asked if they could be removed.
A company spokesperson responded as follows: "We agree with you and Carrentals.co.uk would not like to be seen to be supporting or promoting such activities. We will take steps to remove the text."
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