Spanish bullfights and festivals wiped out due to coronavirus
Bullfighting tournaments and festivals have been wiped out in Spain due to the coronavirus crisis and animal rights campaigners want it to stay that way.
There will be no more bullfighting anywhere in the country during March, April and May and more than 1,600 fiestas featuring either bullfights or bullrunning have been cancelled.
Animal rights groups say the coronavirus pandemic should be the death knell for the “sport” and want the Spanish Government to refuse the industry’s plea for financial aid to get them through the crisis.
“The bullfighting industry is asking for contingency, recovery and support plans for their businesses from the government,” said Aïda Gascón, director of AnimaNaturalis in Spain. “We believe that not only should the government ignore its demands but that it should rethink aid to bullfighting and allocate it where it is most necessary, which will also be the recovery of the different areas of culture, but of culture that all Spaniards share, not just a minority without empathy or compassion.”
According to Anoet, the association of bullfighting event organisers, about 200 bullfighting events have so far been cancelled, together with hundreds of festivals throughout Spain.
Bullfighting organisations and unions say the coronavirus crisis will devastate the sport and have called for extensive aid and compensation for breeders, bullrings and bullfighters.
Experts predict that if the pandemic alert remains in force until June, losses will amount to more than 700 million euros in ticket and sponsorship revenue. Andalusia and Madrid account for 49% of the suspensions.
Cancelling one bullfighting event in Zaragoza at the end of April, organisers said they were doing so with regret but asked fans for their ” unconditional support and encouragement in this extremely serious situation.”
But leading the call for total cancellation of all bullfights, AnimaNaturalis says the Government should give NO financial aid despite Minister of Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribe saying he was prepared to have an emergency meeting with the Bullfighting Federation.
The organisation has launched a petition calling for “not one euro of help” and so far, more than 10,000 people have sent protest letters to the Spanish Government.