Animal Rights Activists Target Bullfighting in Barcelona

The World Society for the Protection of Animals and Spain’s Animal Rights Defense Association are targeting Barcelona to convince the city to outlaw bullfight ahead of the 2004 Universal Forum of Culture which Barcelona will host.

The two groups commissioned a survey which found that 63 percent of respondents in Barcelona wanted an end to bullfighting. An earlier study commissioned by the two groups of attitudes about bullfighting in Catalonia as a whole found 94 percent of respondents favored outlawing bullfighting (neither survey is available online, however, so it’s not known exactly what questions the survey asked).

Manuel Cases of the Animal Rights Defense Association told Australian newspaper The Age,

At the end of the 19th century there were three bullrings in Barcelona, now there is just one left. That has bullfights on Sunday from May to October but mostly for people who come in tourist buses from the Costa Brava.

Philip Lymbery of the World Society for the Protection of Animals said in a press release,

Bullfighting is abhorrent to many people internationally. This new survey shows that the majority of people in Barcelona agree that bullfighting has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with cruelty. It is ironic then, that a city that allows over 100 bulls to be ritually tortured and killed as entertainment annually will next year host the Universal Forum of Culture. We therefore urge Barcelona to ban bullfighting and thereby avoid tainting the spirit of this international cultural event.

Catalonia’s animal welfare law forbids the fighting of animals but specifically exempts bullfights that take place on public holidays.

Bullfighting is popular in Spain in general, but not in the Catalonia region. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, for example, only about 100 bulls are killed annually in bullfights in Barcelona. This out of an estimated 20,000+ bulls killed annually in bullfights throughout the country.


Survey reveals Spanish opposition to bullfighting in Barcelona. Press Release, World Society for the Protection of Animals, April 4, 2003.

Majority of people in Catalonia, Spain, opposed to bullfighting, according to a new survey released today. Press Release, World Society for the Protection of Animals, March 22, 2002.