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Bullfighting is not a "cultural highlight"
18 July 2007

Rough Guides has been asked to stop describing bullfighting as a "cultural highlight" in one of its travel guides to Spain. The blood sport is also being publicised in the company's guides to France, Mexico and Portugal.

In a letter to its editorial department, ICABS stated: "Most of the curious tourists who visit bullrings come away feeling disgusted and upset at what they see - witnessing a bull stumbling around a bullring with blood spurting from its body and spraying from its nostrils and mouth is certain to cast a dark shadow across holiday memories. We hope you can agree, therefore, that it is inappropriate for Rough Guides to suggest bullfighting as a holiday activity."

"We are appealing to your sense of compassion, in this your 25th anniversary year, to stop including positive information about bullfighting in your guides," we added.

Please take a look at the table below and respond to our Rough Guides action alert.

Bullfighting references in Rough Guides books
Bullfighting [is] one of its cultural highlightsThe Rough Guide to Spain
There is some opposition to the activity from animal welfare groups, but it is not widespreadThe Rough Guide to Spain
Link to bullfighting website which contains "a complete guide to bullfighting with exhaustive links"The Rough Guide to Spain
If you feel the need to take in a bullfight, head to the Plaza de TorosThe Rough Guide to Mexico
there is no event more quintessentially Mexican than the bullfightThe Rough Guide to Mexico
it is worth attending a corrida de toros to see this integral part of the Mexican experienceThe Rough Guide to Mexico
If you happen to be in town on July 14 and 15, you can take in a Spanish-style bullfight; there's also a bullfighting festival during AugustThe Rough Guide to France
Following the festival there are three or four more days of bullfighting beginning on August 15.The Rough Guide to France
there are bullfights and a Pamplona-style running of the bulls through the streets leading to the usual casualties among the bold (and drunk)The Rough Guide to Portugal
Sortelha's major event is a bullfightThe Rough Guide to Portugal
If you want to see a fight, it's best to witness it here, amid the local aficionadosThe Rough Guide to Portugal

Photo: Bullfighting

Matador next to bleeding bull
Holiday from hell. A bull bleeding from its mouth and body moments before being killed with a sword. Bullrings like this survive thanks to the support of curious tourists who are often unaware of the brutality awaiting them. Among the countries which allow bullfighting are Spain, Portugal, France, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. (Photo: ADDA)


The Chief Editor
Rough Guides Ltd
80 Strand
London WC2R 0RL

Email: from Rough Guides website form
Tel: 020 7010 3000 (London)
Tel: 212 414 3635 (New York)

Sample Letter
(Please compose your own personal letter if possible. If you do not have time to do this, please send the short sample letter below. Be assertive, but polite, in all correspondence. Thank you.)

To whom it concerns:

I am writing to appeal to Rough Guides to stop giving positive publicity to bullfighting in your travel guides.

Instead of presenting this horrific activity as a "cultural highlight", please show compassion for the animals abused and give strongly worded warnings to readers about the disturbing nature of bullfighting.

Thank you for considering my appeal. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Yours faithfully,


Bullfighting: More information

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