Ban Bullfighting News: Summer 2009
An Irish Council Against Blood Sports / www.banbloodsports.com newsletter.
In This Issue:
01. Paddy Power ceases cruel bullfight bets
The Summer 2009 Edition of new ICABS magazine, "Ban Bullfighting News". Please download, distribute and respond to the action alerts. Thank you.
View "Ban Bullfighting News" at:
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After almost two years of campaigning by ICABS, Paddy Power has announced that it has stopped taking bets on the number of ears cut from bulls following torture sessions in Spanish bullrings.
ICABS welcomes Paddy Power's decision to finally dispense with these grotesque bets which were available to punters on the Spanish section of the Paddy Power website.
In one of our letters of appeal to the company, ICABS stated: "We find it absolutely grotesque and in the poorest of taste the Paddy Power company's acceptance of such bets. As people are placing bets on the Paddy Power website, tortured bulls are stumbling around the bullrings with blood spurting from their backs and spraying from their noses and mouths. How can your company justify making money from this disgusting animal abuse?"
Paddy Power's response at the time was that it was "business" and commented: "We neither support nor denounce bullfighting, we simply respect this Spanish custom and offer a choice to those customers who wish to bet on it."
As part of our sustained campaign, ICABS made impassioned pleas to all of the company's directors to intervene to stop the bets. They were shown photos of matadors holding up severed ears while the victims squirmed on the ground. Also brought to their attention were our campaign videos which featured explicit footage of suffering bulls.
After nearly two years of campaigning, ICABS welcomes Paddy Power's decision to finally dispense with their bullring bets.
We thank every individual and group from Ireland and abroad who responded to our action alerts and sent in our campaign postcards. A special thanks to Maria Lopes of the International Movement Against Bullfights - www.iwab.org - for originally bringing this issue to our attention in August 2007.
While Paddy Power have stopped taking bets on bullring cruelty, we must not forget that the removal of ears and other violent abuse against bulls sadly continues in the bullrings.
The campaign against bullfighting cruelty continues and we urge you to please continue responding to our action alerts so that together we can continue working steadily towards the day when this sickening blood sport is a thing of the past.
Portugal’s ANIMAL group is calling for international support for its campaign against bullfighting in the city of Espinho.
Two bullfights are scheduled to take place in the beautiful seaside resort this July but with enough protest letters to the local authorities, it may be possible to stop these and keep animal cruelty out of Espinho.
Please send the sample letter to Mayor Mota and urge him to show compassion and save the bulls from this horror.
Mr. Jose Barbosa Mota
Dear Mr Jose Barbosa Mota
I am writing to appeal to you to prohibit bullfighting in your beautiful seaside city.
I understand that two bullfights are scheduled for July and I urge you to act to protect Espinho's image and prevent such animal cruelty events from taking place.
I hope that, as mayor of Espinho, you can follow Viana do Castelo, Braga, Cascais and Sintra in their widely welcomed announcements that they will no longer authorise local bullfights. Perhaps also, Espinho could go one step further and declare itself Portugal's second anti-bullfighting city.
Thank you very much. I look forward to your positive response.
With best wishes.
[ Your name and location ]
ICABS has welcomed an assurance from the Ambassador of Mexico in Ireland that action will be taken against horrific cruelty to animals in the state of Yucatan.
Video footage of bulls eviscerating horses in an arena and a mob of locals kicking and jumping on dying animals was brought to the Ambassador's attention.
Replying to our concerns, Ambassador Cecilia Jaber acknowledged our concerns "regarding the unfortunate events of animal cruelty posted on Youtube".
"We have been in contact with the relevant authorities in the State of Yucatan to whom we expressed your concerns," the Ambassador stated. "This was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Tourism in the State and this Embassy has been informed that pertinent measures will be taken. The international affairs office of the State of Yucatan will follow up promptly on this matter."
She outlined that the cruelty filmed in Yucatan at the toro saca tripas event "is not a common practice in Mexico and does not occur on a regular basis".
ICABS is grateful to Ambassador Jaber for her positive response. We are very pleased to learn that the cruelty in Yucatan is being addressed.
We will now be conveying our concerns about the practice of Mexican bullfighting to the Embassy. Mexico is one of just nine countries around the world that continues to allow bullfighting.
ICABS joins Portugal’s ANIMAL group in praising the president of the municipality of Cascais who recently declared that a new bullring would not be built in the area.
Mr Antonio d'Orey Capucho stated: "I do not intend to build a new bullring and I also do not intend to authorise spectacles with animals in mobile structures [such as mobile bullrings]."
Please thank the president for making this extremely important decision, which will save many animals.
Also encourage him to go one step further and declare Cascais as Portugal's second anti-bullfighting city [after Viana do Castelo].
The contact details are: Mr. Antonio d'Orey Capucho, Presidente da Camara Municipal de Cascais, Camara Municipal de Cascais, Praca 5 de Outubro, 2754-501 Cascais, Portugal. Email: email@example.com
A Madrid travel guide has been described as a "blatant promotion of bullfighting" by the Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe.
FAACE chairman, Tony Moore, strongly criticised the Lonely Planet's guide to the Spanish capital for telling holidaymakers how to get tickets to bullfights.
The guide, edited by Anthony Ham and published in October 2008, refers to bullfighting as either “an epic drama of blood and sand or a cruel blood 'sport' that has no place in modern Europe" but goes on to recommend an agency where tickets can be purchased to witness the appalling spectacle.
"The guide makes it obvious where Lonely Planet stands on the question of bullfighting," Mr Moore asserts. "At the very beginning of the guide a picture is chosen featuring the interior of a pro-bullfighting restaurant. They also write that ‘nothing can exceed the gaiety and sparkle of a Spanish public going eager and full-dressed to the fight’ and that bullfighting is ‘at once picturesque, compelling theatre and an ancient ritual that sees 30,000 bulls killed in 17,000 bullfights each year in Spain’."
In the book's "Getting Started" section, readers are told that if they "really want to see a bullfight to see what all the fuss is about", they can "turn to page 220 for information on how to book ahead."
"The country's most prestigious bullfighting season also commences and continues for a month at the bullring Plaza de Toros Monumental," it adds.
In a letter to Lonely Planet, ICABS expressed our disgust that the company is presenting a visit to a bullfight as a holiday activity. We highlighted how bulls suffer enormously in the bullring.
"We hope that Lonely Planet will show compassion and stop presenting bullfighting as a holiday activity," we stated. "Instead, please alert readers to the horrendous suffering inflicted on bulls and warn them that witnessing this bloody and violent spectacle can be very upsetting and cast a dark shadow across holiday memories."
Please join the international appeal to Lonely Planet and forward this action alert to all your friends. Email "Stop publicising bullfighting in your Madrid city guide" to the following:
Mazda car company has removed an advertisement sign from a bullring in Venezuela.
Responding to a letter of appeal from Dutch anti-bullfighting group, CAS, the company’s regional manager for Latin America outlined that their local distributor had not intended to advertise at bullfights but at artistic and folkloric presentations which were organised at the bullring venue.
Mr Minoru Takahashi added: “However, we fully understand your point mentioned in the letter and we decided not to give any sponsorship to this event when the event package includes the bullfight” More information at: www.cas-international.org
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has joined an international campaign aimed at persuading Spanish city, Manzanares el Real, to exclude bullfighting from its annual fiesta.
Please help by contacting the mayor and urging him to permanently drop animal cruelty from the annual fiesta.
Make it clear that the city’s hosting of bullfighting will make you avoid Manzanares el Real when planning future holidays.
Please use the sample letter or write a letter of your own.
Oscar Cerezal, Mayor
Dear Mayor Cerezal,
Manzanares el Real has many positive attractions for tourists but, as long as bullfighting is permitted there, I will be avoiding your town in favour of locations in Spain that have declared themselves anti-bullfighting.
I hope that Manzanares el Real will choose to stop hosting bullfights.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.
[Your name and location]
An Estrella Damm banner was photographed overlooking scenes of appalling cruelty to animals in Barcelona's Monumental bullring.
Please ask Estrella Damm to remove the banner and disassociate from bullfighting.
You can send your message from the company's website at: www.estrelladamm.es/contacto/contacto.asp or write to:
Enrique Crous Millet,
Yahoo News has reported that a 3-year-old boy was killed at a bullrunning event in France.
The tragedy occurred in the Southern town of Saint-Martin-de-Londres on May 3rd 2009.
The bullrun involves men on horses chasing bulls along the town’s streets. While trying to dodge the bulls, one of the horses fell against a fence that was in place to protect spectators.
The fence fell against a concrete object where the child was standing with his parents to see the festival.
“The boy died on the spot,” Yahoo reported.
ICABS has expressed sadness to the local tourism agency and urged them to put a stop to bullruns - for the sake of animal welfare and to ensure that this spectacle does not claim further lives in the future.
The Venezuelan city of Caracas has become the first capital to declare itself anti-bullfighting, the League Against Cruel Sports has reported.
The city council voted in favour of a citizen’s application asking for the declaration in April.
This historic move was followed by an announcement from the city council that it would not use the refurbished bullring for bullfights.
Please join us in thanking the president of the municipality of Viana do Castelo, in Portugal, for putting an end to bullfights in his city and for deciding to purchase and convert its bullring into a science and education centre.
In an interview in newspaper "Diario de Noticias", Mr Moura stated: "We are in the 21st century and the sacrifice of animals - if it can at all be justified in places where there is a local important bullfighting tradition - can find no justification in Viana do Castelo. We have no bullfighters, forcados, bulls or horses...To maintain a place to sacrifice eight animals per year has no justification."
Feel free to use the sample letter below or write an original letter of your own.
Mr Defensor Moura, Presidente da Camara, Municipal de Viana do Castelo, Rua Candido dos Reis 4904-877, Viana do Castelo, Portugal. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I congratulate you and the Municipality of Viana do Castelo for your decision to turn a local bullring into a science and education centre. This move is greatly welcomed by the majority of people in Portugal and around Europe who want the barbaric practice of bullfighting ended.
[Your name and location]
Thanks to a letter of appeal from France’s Alliance Anticorrida, bullfighters were prevented from addressing an entire school in March.
The bullfighting conference, featuring young bullfighters, was due to take place at the Jean-d’Arcet d’Aire-sur-Adour High School in Landes.
But after the Alliance’s Claire Starozinski pointed out to the school’s authorities that “it’s not the role of national education to promote bullfighting in educational establishments”, it was decided to that the conference could only be held outside school hours and that students wishing to attend would have to obtain parental permission.
The result was that only 9 out of 185 students showed an interest in attending. Alliance Anticorrida has expressed delight with this outcome, saying they feel a renewed determination to guard young people from what is essentially the encouragement of cruelty.
They also report that the principal has invited the group to come to the school to speak about the cruelty of bullfighting!
“The most terrible thing I've ever seen in my whole life. I can't speak. I can't breathe right now.”
The words of an upset tourist after emerging from the bullring in Barcelona. You can watch the moving Youtube video at www.tinyurl.com/p3amp3 The woman who filmed this footage told ICABS that “you can find lots of tourists like that coming out of the bullring.”
In appeals to tourism companies, ICABS highlights this scene to demonstrate the inappropriateness of suggesting a visit to a bullring as a holiday activity.
A silent protest outside a Spanish bullring received international headlines and brought the anti-bullfighting message to millions around the world.
Organised by CAS International and Equanimal, the May 24th demonstration saw between 300 and 400 activists lying on the ground close to the entrance of Madrid’s Las Ventas bullring.
The protestors, covered in fake blood, were endeavouring to "draw attention to the suffering of animals during bullfights on a worldwide scale".
Their dramatic display succeeded in catching the attention of the media, with Spanish television channels giving important coverage to the event on evening news programmes. French press agency, AFP, also spread the news which was picked up by newspapers and websites from as far away as Finland and China.
Interviewed on Europa Press TV, Equanimal spokesperson, Rafael Boro, said they had chosen the Las Ventas bullring as the location because thousands of bulls are killed at the venue annually. "Open your eyes and put yourself in the animal’s place", he commented.
Spanish vet, Jose Enrique Zaldivar, who has set up an anti-bullfighting association of veterinarians, emphasised the suffering of the bulls in the arena and said that information on this has been sent to legislators in Brussels.
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has praised Andrea Bocelli's management company after they confirmed that bullfighting footage has been dropped from a visual display at the singer's concerts.
Replying to an appeal from ICABS, Almud Music agreed that bullfighting is an "exhibition of cruelty" and that the scene was removed after complaints were made at a Dublin performance in March.
The footage of an injured bull in a bullring prompted one concert-goer to complain to venue management. On RTE's Liveline show, she described how her and her husband were upset at the scene and left during the song Granada (which contains the line "Granada, a land covered in blood from the bullfighting afternoons").
In a letter to Almud Music, ICABS stated: "The beauty of Andrea Bocelli's voice should not be aligned with the gruesomeness of bullfighting.”
Replying, a spokesperson for the company expressed sorrow at the reaction the video provoked and condemned bullfighting: "Bullfight, also in our opinion, represents a useless exhibition of cruelty, which we hopefully associate, once and for all, to past ages...as we truly hope that crimes (such) as whale killing, fox hunting and other abuses made by a neglectful modern subculture will be just a sad memory."
She also stated that as soon as they had been made aware of it, they "immediately provided to censor the most cruel images on the second evening concert".
"We gently thank your association to have focused on the matter, and we will definitely take it into consideration for next concerts," she added.
We are absolutely delighted with this response and thank Almud Music for their reply. We also applaud Patricia, the inspirational caller who highlighted this issue on the Liveline show and who was derided by some callers for leaving the concert early.
By voicing her concerns to the management of the O2 venue and on national radio, Patricia demonstrates that an individual can make a difference.
For more information on Andrea Bocelli, please visit his official website at www.andreabocelli.com
Despite an appeal from the Irish Council Against Blood Sports in 2008, a photo of a bullring continues to be included in the brochure for Irish company, Primera Escorted Tours.
The 2009 edition of the publication displays an aerial photo of the Ronda bullring and remarks that it is "the world's oldest bullring which dates back to 1785".
A reference to a bullring is also made in a section about Malaga: "Our sightseeing tour takes us to the highest point of the city, Gibralfaro, the perfect spot to take in the superb vista including the bullring..."
After bringing the violence and cruelty of bullfighting to the attention of Primera last year, we were told that the company "does not promote bullfights in Spain nor do we sell tickets to such events". Defending the inclusion of the Ronda bullring as part of a sightseeing tour of the area, a spokesperson said that it is "part of the local history and architecture of that area."
ICABS is happy that Primera does not promote visits to the bullfight or bullring but are disappointed that out of all the attractions in their Spanish "Magical Medley" tour, an image of a bullring - a venue of deplorable cruelty - continues to be used in the brochure and that a bullring is described as being part of a "superb vista".
Please ask Primera to exclude bullfighting imagery and references from future brochures. Email your message to email@example.com or telephone 01-6311077.
A charmingly illustrated story of friendship: “Tiko y Bengala, la historia de un toro” by Manuel Clavero (2007, Spanish Text). For details about how you can order this book, please contact the Irish Council Against Blood Sports at firstname.lastname@example.org
This summer you can help end one of the world's most cruel and barbaric blood "sports". If holidaying in Spain, Portugal, France or other bullfighting countries, please boycott the bullrings.
Please encourage others to stay away from animal cruelty events. Download, print and distribute our "Holidaymakers - Make your holiday cruelty-free" fact sheet and give copies to friends and family members who are planning holidays.
The fact sheet, available in English and Dutch, is downloadable in printer-friendly format from the Leaflets page at www.banbloodsports.com (scroll down to “Anti-bullfighting leaflets”).
Why not also ask your local travel agents to display a copy to warn customers about how distressing a visit to a bullring can be. Thank you.
Animal activists are calling for charges to pressed against a company that supplied bulls to a so-called "bloodless" bullfight event, the LA Times has reported (May 26, 2009).
The bullfight, part of a Portuguese festival in Artesia, Los Angeles, was interrupted by a humane officer working with Animal Cruelty Investigations.
The newspaper outlined that the officer “discovered the bull fighters were using long wooden sticks with sharpened nails on the end to stab, torment and infuriate the bulls. He noticed the bulls were being stabbed when he saw blood and puncture wounds on the bull when the animal was being returned to the trailer from the ring. The bull had been repeatedly stabbed with up to eight sticks."
In California's “bloodless” bullfights, the animals are not killed in the ring but after coming out of the arena, they are sent to a slaughterhouse to be killed.
Animal Cruelty Investigations spokesperson, Jane Garrison, stated: "Stabbing a bull with sharpened nails is certainly a violation of the law. No animal should ever be made to suffer for so-called entertainment. We hope the DA prosecutes this case to the fullest extent of the law and the City of Artesia makes this bull fight its last."
Write polite letters to the City of Artesia and urge them to never hold a bull fight again: Mayor Sally Zuniga Flowers and City Council Members, City of Artesia, 18747 Clarkdale Ave, Artesia, CA 90701. Tel: 562-865-6262. Email: email@example.com
To keep up-to-date with all our anti-blood sports campaigning work, please:
Subscribe to our monthly mailing list - send “Subscribe” to firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit our main website at www.banbloodsports.com for news, updates and action alerts.
Watch our campaign videos at www.youtube.com/icabs
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/banbloodsports
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports started life as the Irish Council Against Bull Fighting over 40 years ago. Today, we continue to campaign against this horrendous blood sport and support international action alerts.
Our efforts are only possible thanks to the generosity of supporters like you. Please consider making a donation today to help ensure that our work against bullfighting and other blood sports continues.
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