Coronavirus in Spain could give bullfighting blow, but farmers ask for state aid – La Stampa


The spread of the coronavirus pandemic could put an end to Spanish bullfights. The conditional is a must for a tradition that has lasted for so long and resists the increasingly frequent animal rights protests. What is certain is that the industry that sees the death of the bull at the center of earnings is extremely in difficulty: the confinement of people and the consequent blocking of activities came precisely in the period of opening of the new bullfighting season.

If the prescribed distance of nine square meters between the spectators were respected, a bullfight would not have enough profit to be made: in a 10,500-seat arena it is estimated that only 400 people could find a place. A sector that, according to estimates by local associations, would record losses of at least 700 million euros due to canceled events and the impact on farms.

At first the animal rights activists sang victory, but now the fate of those 120 bulls stolen from the skills of the matadors may not be so happy: the breeders have asked for state aid without which the animals would be sent to the slaughterhouse.

It is estimated that raising a bullfighting bull can cost up to 5,000 euros (as the total cost before being killed), almost ten times more than the value of its meat. For this reason the breeders asked for help from the Ministry of Culture which is responsible for bullfighting: “We only asked for the help that all cultural shows in Spain and Europe ask for – explains Victorino Martin, of the breeders’ association -. The promoters organize the events, but in situations like that of today the insurance companies do not respond ». And it seems that some signals are coming from the government: «The minister has called us and we are sure he will assist us. This is the moment of common sense, loyalty and waiting – Martin explains -. We must start from the fact that it is the only cultural heritage that not only does not receive subsidies from general budgets, but also pays astronomical figures for the rental of state premises and that the public media ignore it despite it being the second largest mass show in the country » .

A request that sees strong opposition from animal rights activists who hope for a definitive end to this practice, recalling that in 2015 the European Parliament voted a text that denies public aid for shows that involve mistreatment of animals: «As in Spain around the world government aid and government efforts should be aimed at protecting health, employment, small business development and self-employment, helping the most vulnerable families and ensuring essential services. Which obviously do not include bullfights, “explains Aida Gascon Bosh, of the Anima Naturalis association, adding:” Even if the bulls will end up equally sacrificed, at least nobody will benefit from the spectacle of cruelty. “

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