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Assign bullfighting to the dustbin of history

 

The death of Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino, after being gored by a bull, must serve as yet another reminder of the extreme danger and gross inhumanity implicit in this so-called 'sport'.

The tragedy has sparked renewed calls worldwide for its abolition.

It is dangerous for the human participants, who risk death and serious injury, and indefensibly cruel to the animals that always end up dead after prolonged torture.

Behind the popular image of a swashbuckling man using a cape to tease and evade the bull is the shocking reality: before the matador even faces the bull, it has been weakened by having Vaseline rubbed into its eyes to impair vision and is also beaten over the kidneys.

Then the animal is stabbed with razor-sharp lances.

The fighter performs his traditional routine against the bull as blood streams from numerous wounds inflicted by the picadors.

By the time he plunges his sword between his opponent's shoulder blades, the animal is ready to collapse from exhaustion.

Such a practice is an affront to human decency and should be banned.

The frivolous, organised torture of animals might have been deemed appropriate in the Circus Maximus of Ancient Rome, or in the grim heyday of the period known as the Dark Ages, but not today.

Such activities in the 21st century are fine as subjects of oil paintings, or as design themes for table mats, or elaborate tapestries.

But as sports they should now be consigned to the blood-stained pages of history.

JOHN FITZGERALD

Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports

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