Animal Voice, Ban Bullfighting Edition 2013
Campaign newsletter of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports

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In this month's edition:

01. Abbey Travel remove bullfighting from website
02. Low Cost remove bullfighting from website
03. Travel Department removes bullfight reference from Spain page
04. Sunways to stop advertising bullfighting
05. Budget Travel asked to stop encouraging visit to bullring
06. Club Travel telling tourists to "see a bullfight"
07. American Airlines asked to stop publicising bullfighting
08. Ask 365tickets to stop selling tickets to bullring
09. Hilton Hampton hotels tell holidaymakers: Watch a bullfight
10. Fodor's urged to stop directing tourists to bullfights
11. Register opposition to bullfighting with Spanish Embassy
12. Irish MEPs urged to act against bullfight subsidies
13. Boy gored to death at Spanish bullrun
14. Most Spaniards against public funds for bullfighting
15. Dutch Parliament against bullfight subsidies
16. Petitions against bullfighting
17. New book presents arguments against bullfighting
18. Campaign Quotes

01. Abbey Travel remove bullfighting from website

A big thank you to Abbey Travel for removing references to bullfighting from their website. A company spokesperson agreed that bullfighting is cruel and that the inclusion of the bullfighting references was a complete oversight.

An Abbey statement outlined that "up until recently, there was no mention of bull fighting on our website" but that after a re-launch of the site, some third party content which mentioned bullfighting was inadvertently used.

"We do not agree with promoting bullfighting," the spokesperson added. "All references have been removed."

Thank you, Abbey Travel!

Abbey Travel is celebrating 35 years in business on Dublin's Middle Abbey Street. Find out more about the company at

02. Low Cost remove bullfighting from website

ICABS has thanked Low Cost - Europeís leading independent hotel provider - for removing references to bullfighting and bullrunning from its website.

The move came after we highlighted the cruelty involved and the upset caused to holidaymakers who witness the bloody violence.

A big thank you to for this compassionate move.

03. Travel Department removes bullfight reference from Spain page

Thumbs up to the Travel Department for responding to an ICABS appeal and removing a reference to bullfighting from the Spain page of its website.

The Travel Department is one of Europe's leading escorted holiday companies. Find out more about their tours at

04. Sunways to stop advertising bullfighting

Sunways Holidays has been thanked for removing references to bullfighting and bullrunning from its website.

In an appeal to the Dun Laoghaire-based company, ICABS called for an optional visit to a bullfight to be removed from its Moorish Spain trip itinerary.

A spokesperson stated in response that although they do not directly operate the tour in question, they had "made a decision to discontinue advertising this particular event from this itinerary and tour".

ICABS is grateful to Sunway Holidays for its positive response.

05. Budget Travel asked to stop encouraging visit to bullring

Budget Travel is being asked to stop encouraging holidaymakers to attend bullfights and bullruns. On its website, the Dublin-based company lists "bull fights" as a holiday attraction.

On a Costa del Sol web page, Budget Travel describes a bullring as a "cultural attraction" - "Go to Malaga to visit some of the astonishing cultural attractions like The Picasso Museum or the bull ring. Itís a gorgeous way to get a glimpse of Spainís roots and heritage."

Elsewhere, Budget recommends a visit to the infamous Pamplona bullrun where bulls are chased through the streets and later tortured and killed in the local bullring - "Be part of the legendary Running of the Bulls on our 7 day Pamplona experience in the exciting opening week...Highlights: Dress up in traditional red and white and run like a local in the Running of the Bulls, Watch the bulls run from the Plaza de Toros (bull ring)...What's included: Guided walking tour of Pamplona Ė See...the famous bullring."

ICABS has told Budget Travel about the cruelty of bullfighting and the fact that most tourists lured in to bullrings by holiday operators are left shocked and disgusted at bloody violence they witness. Also highlighted was the suffering caused to bulls used in the Pamplona bullrun and the torture and death that awaits them in the local bullring.


Contact Budget Travel and urge them to stop encouraging holiday makers to attend bullfights and bullruns.

Budget Travel
29 Lower Abbey Street
Dublin 1
Tel: 01 435 0024
Tweet: @BudgetTravelIRL

06. Club Travel telling tourists to "see a bullfight"

Please join us in our appeal to Club Travel to stop telling tourists to "see a bullfight".

"To watch the greatest bullfighters show in Spain's capital is a memorable experience and by booking cheap Madrid flights from Ireland you are one step closer to this adventure," the Dublin company states on its Madrid page.


ACTION ALERT ENDED. Please see update - Club Travel stops telling tourists to "see a bullfight"

07. American Airlines asked to stop publicising bullfighting

ICABS is calling on American Airlines to stop presenting details about bullfighting on its website. The company is publicising bullfights in Madrid, Seville and Lima and even providing a link to a site where tickets can be purchased.

In the events section of the American Airlines Lima page, an "all-important" bullfight festival is featured along with a phone number and website address for the ticket agent.

"The most famous matadors and bull ranches in the world compete for fame and glory in the Acho Plaza de Toros, a bullfighting arena erected in 1766 and rebuilt in 1945," the event description outlines. "The Feria Taurina del Senor de los Milagros is one of the key bullfighting events in Latin America."

Acknowleding the cruelty of bullfighting, a warning is given to those who "find the practice of bullfighting unpleasant": "We suggest you steer well clear."

More bullfighting content appears on the airline's Seville page - "Flying To Seville With American Airlines? Seville conjures up images of raven-haired flamenco dancers, bullfights and extravagant Mudejar architecture...The Sevillians' passion for bullfighting is visible on a tour of the Real Maestranza bullring and its onsite museum, which houses paintings and embellished matador costumes."

The city's Feria de San Miguel is also featured on the page. One of the highlights of the festival is listed as "bullfights".

For those flying with American Airlines to Madrid, information about the city's "premier" bullring is presented, including address, phone number and bullfight dates.

The entry for Madrid goes on to outline that "while many may be against the taunting of animals for sport, bullfighting is associated with a sense of Spanishness, deeply rooted within the national identity."


Contact American Airlines and urge them to remove all references to bullfighting from their website.

Mr Tom Horton
CEO, American Airlines
P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9612

Email Via:
Tel: 817.786.3778
Twitter: @americanair

08. Ask 365tickets to stop selling tickets to bullring

Join us in our appeal to 365tickets Ireland to stop selling tickets for a tour of a Madrid bullring - an animal cruelty hellhole which is described on their website as "the international centre of bullfighting".

Alongside a shocking image of a bleeding, injured bull, the 365tickets website description of the bullring tour states: "On your visit with Las Ventas Tour you will discover a place which is emblematic of the heart and soul of bullfighting, where the worldís finest matadors present their artistry and skill...The tours to Las Ventas bullring allow the visitors to discover in their own language, not only the bullring itself, but also the basics of bullfighting."

The site is offering full-price tickets for adults, reduced-rate tickets for children and free tickets for infants up to five years of age.


Contact 365tickets now and urge them to stop selling tickets to an animal cruelty black spot.

6 New Street
St Helier
Jersey JE2 3RA
Channel Islands

Tel: 0901 8100365 (UK)
Tel: +44 1534 739663 (Rest of world)

Twitter: @365tickets

09. Hilton Hampton hotels tell holidaymakers: Watch a bullfight

Action Alert Ended. Thank you to Hilton Hampton for removing references to bullfighting from its websites.

10. Fodor's urged to stop directing tourists to bullfights

Travel guide publisher, Fodor's, has been asked to stop directing tourists to bullfights. On its website, the company suggests attending a bullfight, saying that "Spanish toreros delight the crowds". It also presents details of where tickets can be purchased.

Fodor's is not only shamefully recommending a visit to a bullfight but also suggesting that tourists should tip the ushers working at bullrings. In the 2013 edition of its Spain travel guide, it states "tour guides should be tipped about 2 euro, ushers at bullfights 15 to 20 cents".

Fodor's has been reminded that bullfighting is a horrendous activity which results in enormous suffering for bulls and horses and that the activity is opposed by millions of people across the world, including a majority in Spain, Portugal, etc.

In a complaint to Fodors, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports stated: "We believe it is inappropriate for a travel guide company to encourage tourists to visit a bullfight because many tourists who visit a bullring out of curiosity come away disgusted and upset at what they witness. It effectively casts a dark shadow across their whole holiday experience."


Sign and Share the Petition:

Email a complaint to

Leave a comment on Fodors' Facebook Page Tweet a complaint to @fodorstravel

11. Register opposition to bullfighting with Spanish Embassy

If you choose to holiday in a bullfighting country (Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela), please do not visit bullfighting arenas or museums. Avoid purchasing any bullfight-related souvenirs. Join the international campaign against bullfighting. Please register your opposition to this horrific blood sport with the governments and political representatives of bullfighting countries as well as to the local Ambassadors.


Contact the Spanish Ambassador to Ireland to register your opposition to bullfighting. Express your desire to see bullfighting banned throughout all of Spain.

The Spanish Ambassador to Ireland
Embassy of Spain
17A Merlyn Park, Dublin 4.

Tel 1: +353 (0)1 2691640
Tel 2: +353 (0)1 2692597
Fax: +353 (0)1 269 1854

12. Irish MEPs urged to act against bullfight subsidies

ICABS has contacted all of Ireland's MEPs to urge them to act against the EU's subsidisation of bullfighting.

A report published earlier this year estimates that every year, "no less than Eur 129 million" from the Common Agricultural Policy makes its way into the bullfighting industry. The report highlights that without this money, and around Eur 571 million from the Spanish Government, bullfighting "would probably be on the brink of financial collapse and unable to subsist".

Read the full Toros and Taxes report at

13. Boy gored to death at Spanish bullrun

Source: Sky News

A 16-year-old boy has been gored to death at a running-of-the-bulls festival celebrating the patron saint of a Spanish town, police say.

The animal caught the teenager in the back as he took part in the event marking the Apostle James feast at Isso, around 200 miles southeast of Madrid. He underwent two failed operations to repair massive injuries to his liver, but doctors were unable to save him and he died hours later.

A 60-year-old man taking part in the festivities was also injured, when he was gored in a leg.

Fiestas including bulls are common in Spain, and critics and aficionados alike often agree that health and safety measures are almost non-existent at many small town bull runs. That means almost anyone can participate, even if they are drunk or unfit.

The police spokesman who revealed the news did so on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to be cited by name.

14. Most Spaniards against public funds for bullfighting

Source: Humane Society International

As the Spanish Parliament debates a proposed new law to declare bullfighting a cultural heritage, an Ipsos MORI public opinion poll commissioned by Humane Society International reveals that the majority of Spaniards do not approve of public funds being used for the bloodsport and that three quarters of the population havenít attended a bullfight in the last five years. Only 29 percent of Spanish people support bullfighting, according to poll results.

A legislative proposal supported by bullfighting enthusiasts to protect and promote bullfighting nationwide is being debated by the Culture Committee before being voted on by the Senate and then the Congress. If passed, public money could be used to fund and promote this bloody spectacle in which bulls are tormented and stabbed repeatedly until death in a bullfighting ring.

"Bullfighting is a cruel and outdated spectacle that has no place in modern Spain," said Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International. "Clearly, the poll shows the vast majority of Spanish people donít support cruelty to bulls and donít want to see public funds poured into this appalling bloodsport. Humane Society International urges Spainís politicians to reject the proposed law, which is a cynical attempt to procure taxpayersí money to breathe life back into a dying industry. Letís celebrate Spainís artistic, cultural and architectural heritage without cruelty and relegate to the history books the torturing of bulls for entertainment."

Figures released recently by the Culture Ministry show that bullfight attendance is at an all-time low. From 2007 Ė 2011 bullfights in Spain declined from 3,650 a year to just 2,290 with only a fraction (590) involving top-ranking matadors against adult bulls. Figures are likely to have dropped even further during 2012 following the recession and the introduction of an outright ban on bullfighting in neighbouring Catalonia.


Bullfighting is already banned in many countries including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Italy and the United Kingdom. However, events still take place in Spain, France, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico. Some Spanish cities, such as Calonge, Tossa de Mar, Vilamacolum and La Vajol, as well as the region of Catalonia, have outlawed bullfighting.

Every year, many thousands of bulls suffer a slow and agonising death in Spanish bullfights. Bulls are routinely subjected to prolonged pain. First the picadors (men on horseback) pierce the bullís neck with a barbed lance. Then a matador repeatedly stabs the animal with banderillas (spears) before a sword is driven between the bullís shoulders. In most cases, this injures the bullís lungs and bronchial tubes, causing blood to flow and bubble through the animalís mouth and nose before death finally comes.

15. Dutch Parliament against bullfight subsidies

Source: League Against Cruel Sports

On the 4th July the Dutch Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution against EU subsidies that support the Spanish bullfighting industry.

Initiated by the Dutch Party for Animals, this move sends a timely signal towards the Spanish Parliament, which is currently debating whether to award bullfighting the status of intangible cultural heritage.

On July 10 and 11th, a hearing took place in the Spanish Parliament. A vote will now likely be set for early September. If Spain vote to grant bullfighting Intangible Cultural Heritage status, this would mean more public funding for the bullfighting industry and the promotion of bullfighting to young children. Furthermore, it would threaten the regional bans on bullfighting in Catalonia and in the Canary Islands.

In a report issued earlier this year, it was estimated that the Spanish bullfighting industry receive approximately 130 million euro annually from EU tax payers via subsidies under the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. With the unanimous adoption of the resolution, the Dutch Parliament takes a firm stance against such public funding in support of this cruel and outdated entertainment.

16. Petitions against bullfighting

Travel Companies: Stop encouraging holidaymakers to visit bullfights
Say NO to Spanish Government proposal to protect and promote bullfighting
Stop the EU funding bullfighting
End EU funding for bullfighting
Fodor's Travel Guides: Stop directing tourists to bullrings
Say NO to the cruel Toro de Fuego ("bull on fire") event in Spain

Please download, sign and collect signatures for ADDA's important petition which calls on the Spanish Government to scrap plans to consider declaring bullfighting as intangible cultural heritage. Send signed petitions to ADDA, c/ Bailen, 164 bajos, 08037 Barcelona, Spain. Download the Petition - - and find out more at

17. New book presents arguments against bullfighting

Tauromaquia, el mal cultural ("Bullfighting: the Cultural Evil") is a rigorous and well-supported argument against bullfighting festivals written by Carmen Mendez, president of the Spanish animal welfare organisation ADDA (Asociacion para la Defensa de los Derechos del Animal).

"To understand the present it is necessary to look at the past," Mendez writes. That is why, after compiling and classifying copious documents, the author provides a clear and comprehensive historical account of the subject from the Roman circus right up to the most recent events. The book exposes the scandalous way in which this private business is subsidised by public money, the myths associated with bulls, and the many falsehoods that are perpetuated in order to justify the continuation of an anachronistic and degrading activity.

Exploring the ideas and experiences of an interesting selection of erudite and distinguished personalities from the past, readers will find a rich legacy of thought, reasoning and arguments against bullfighting. The authoritative information, much of it relatively unknown, offers new perspectives and allows readers to come to their own conclusions.

The book can be ordered at

18. Campaign Quotes

"I have always found bullfighting boring and revolting." Miguel de Unamuno - Spanish essayist, novelist, poet, playwright and philosopher (1864-1936)

Bullfighting is one of the most cruel forms of animal abuse. Every year, more than 250,000 bulls and cows are tortured and killed worldwide during bullfights and similar events. Also during fiestas ('village festivals'), tens of thousands of bulls and other animals are severely maltreated. More information about bullfighting and fiestas at From the CAS International website.

Spainís attempts to give bull-fighting Ďspecial cultural statusí is a disastrous move for the Spanish economy, Spanish tourist industry and animal welfare, say Care for the Wild. Philip Mansbridge, CEO of wildlife charity Care for the Wild International, said: "This is a horrendously misjudged backwards step. Inside Spain there might be a feeling among some people that bullfighting is part of the culture, but outside Spain, the rest of the world is looking on and wondering how such an appalling, cruel spectacle can be allowed to continue. The Spanish economy is in dire straits, so tourism is vital to the nation. But we know through our work on animals in tourism that people are already saying that they wonít go to a country that supports this kind of animal abuse." from, 13th Feb 2013

I have read about the horrors of the Pamplona running and bullfighting and the tremendous suffering that is endured by each bull involved in these events. It is extremely upsetting and no animal should have to experience this cruelty, especially in the name of so-called entertainment...I believe that bullfighting flies in the face of EU commitments on animal welfare. Keith Taylor MEP, Green Party (UK)

Bullfighting is heavily subsidized both by funds from the Spanish administrations and by European funds. Without such backing, this recreational activity would probably be on the brink of financial collapse and unable to subsist. We reckon that no less than 571Ä million are spent annually by different tiers of Spanish authorities, and no less than 129∑6Ä million by the European Union Ė in this case, basically through Common Agricultural Policy programs. Both these amounts are minimum sums, derived from conservative assessments. From Toros and Taxes. Read the report at

"Younger Spaniards are showing little interest in the 'sport' while the downturn in the Spanish economy has made many once loyal fans turn their back on the bullring." RTE Radio 1's World Report programme, 23 June 2013. Listen to the report now at

The League Against Cruel Sports today releases a new anti-bullfighting campaign film which seeks to expose the distressing reality of bull fighting...The annual, nine day San Fermin Fiesta, more commonly known as the Pamplona Bull Run, starts Saturday 6th July, and whilst the general public think of it as simply Ďthe running of the bullsí, in reality the bulls run to their death, to face a matador in the bull ring. Watch the League's video at

Please make a donation to ICABS

If you like our work, please consider making a donation. The Irish Council Against Blood Sports relies entirely on your generosity to continue our campaigning for an end to blood sport cruelty.

Please become a supporter of our work today - click on the Paypal button at to make a donation or send a cheque made payable to ICABS to ICABS, PO Box 88, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Ireland. Thank you very much.

Top ways you can help the campaign

Top ways you can help the campaign
Join our email list and respond to our Action Alerts
Become a campaign supporter and make a donation to help fund our efforts
Contact your local politicians and ask them to support a ban on blood sports
Be our friend on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and Youtube
Sign up for our free text alert service and receive occasional campaign updates to your phone
Link to our website and display one of our banners
Monitor blood sports meetings in your area and provide us with photos, video and reports.
Write a letter to your local newspaper about the cruelty of blood sports
Sign and collect signatures for our petitions
Organise a fund-raiser to help raise funds for the campaign
Set up an online anti-blood sports group (Myspace, Bebo, Facebook, etc) to cover your area.
Download, print and display our posters and leaflets
Set up an information stand at your school/library/youth group/adult group, etc
Introduce your friends to our website and encourage them to get involved.
Simply keeping your ear to the ground. about any blood-sport related incidents in your area.

Keep hunters off your land

Make it known publicly that your land is off-limits to hunters. Place a preservation notice in your local newspaper now. Here is a sample notice that you may wish to use: "Take notice that all my lands at [Insert address(es) of land] are private and preserved day and night. All forms of hunting and shooting are strictly prohibited. Trespassers will be prosecuted. Signed [Insert name(s) of landowner]" For more information, click on Farmers at

Tune in to the ICABS Channel

Footage of blood sport cruelty and the humane alternatives can be viewed on the ICABS Channel on Youtube - or by clicking on "Videos" at Please ask your local TD/Senator to view our videos and back a blood sports ban.

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