Spanish city wants to classify bullfighting as abuse nationwide

by Lorraine Williamson

GIJón – “The torture of bulls must stop”, were the words of Podemos spokeswoman Laura Tuero in Gijón on Wednesday. Her city council will urge the central government to classify bullfighting as abusive. 

Podemos Gijón believes that bulls should not be promoted as a tourist attraction. Consequently, the Gijón city council on Wednesday approved the proposal by majority vote to urge the central government in Madrid to classify bullfights as animal cruelty. However, a number of laws must then be amended for this. 

This news comes a few days before the first bullfights take place again on Saturday, September 18, in Seville’s bullring, Plaza de Toros La Maestranza. 

Gijón free from animal cruelty 

The plenary initiative, presented by Podemos-Equo Xixón, is supported by the PSOE and Izquierda Unida parties that are part of the local government. The rest, Ciudadanos, Forum, PP, and Vox voted against. 

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‘Feminist’a and ‘Nigeriano’ 

The council’s proposal comes a month after the mayor of the Asturian city, Ana González of the socialist party PSOE, announced that bullfights will no longer be held in Gijón. This decision was made after discovering that two of the bulls that fought and were killed in Gijón’s bullring were named ‘Feminista’ and ‘Nigeriano’. She considered that unacceptable. She believes in the equality of men and women. And in the integration of everyone, no matter where someone is born, and as such, she cannot tolerate these names. 

Answer bull sector 

The response of the Spanish Association of Fighting Bull Breeders, la Unión de Criadores de Toros de Lidia, explained that the bulls were given the names because they descend from the cows ‘Feminista’ and ‘Nigeriana’. Names that go back 35 years and are separate from ‘the social and political contexts’. 

Location for cultural activities 

However, the decision has come under heavy criticism from the mayor, especially from the bull sector and the right-wing parties. The bullfighting Feria has been held in the city for at least 130 years. Furthermore, the sector sees it as an act of ‘totalitarianism’. But Ana González sees it differently. Therefore, she wants to transform the bullring into a location where cultural activities of all kinds can be organised. Moreover, a place where all residents of the city can feel at home. 

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