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Lonely Planet to increase emphasis on opposition to bullfighting
19 June 2009

Travel book publisher, Lonely Planet, has promised to include more information about opposition to bullfighting in future editions of its Guide to Madrid. Responding to an email from an ICABS supporter, a company spokesperson conceded that the current edition "failed to produce an impartial but useful introduction" and that they would "make several changes at the first opportunity to achieve a better balance in the text".

In the Summer 2009 edition of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports' "Ban Bullfighting" magazine we told of how the guide was criticised as a "blatant promotion of bullfighting" by the Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe. The cruel activity is described in the book as "picturesque, compelling theatre" and a booking agent for bullring tickets is recommended to readers who wish to "see what all the fuss is about".

In a reply from the company's feedback department, a spokesperson said that "as a responsible guidebook publisher we could not ignore bullfighting in a guide to Madrid" but that they try to provide unbiased and impartial information so that readers can make up their own minds.

"We’ve reviewed the coverage in our Madrid guide as a result of the feedback we've received and now believe that we failed to produce an impartial but useful introduction," he said. "Sorry. We are grateful that you and others have brought this to our attention and sorry that we didn’t handle this controversial issue better in the first instance."

"We are going to make several changes at the first opportunity to achieve a better balance in the text," he added. "We will include more about objections to bullfighting and will provide web details for several organisations that campaign against bullfighting. That way readers will be able to find out more or lend their own support to these campaigns."

ICABS welcomes this development but will continue pressing the company to stop in any way encouraging tourists to attend bullfights or recommending a website where bullfight tickets may be purchased. Thank you to everyone who supported this action alert.

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