Stop Plans to Honour Bullfighting

Despite growing worldwide condemnation of killing bulls for sport, France's Minister of Culture has declared bullfighting to be one of the country's cultural treasures. This opens the door for the deadly pastime to be considered for inclusion in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – better known as UNESCO – "World Intangible Heritage List". Making the list is seen as both prestigious and a source of pride.

Countless bulls are stabbed to death in arenas throughout France and Spain. Bulls are teased and provoked before being led into bullfighting arenas where they are surrounded by screaming crowds. The confused and agitated bulls will naturally "fight" for their lives as men on horses run them in circles while repeatedly piercing them with banderillas (barb-tipped wooden daggers) until they are dizzy, weakened from blood loss and suffering agonising pain. The horses, who are blindfolded, can also suffer serious injuries when they can't avoid a charging bull. The matador comes in when the exhausted bull is already near death. The bulls are often still conscious as their ears and tail are cut off as "trophies" and as they are dragged from the ring on chains.

The cultural heritage designation flies in the face of growing opposition to these deadly events. Last year, two French MPs introduced a bill in Parliament to ban bullfighting, calling the fights "barbaric spectacles". The bill has been co-signed by 12 other parliamentarians from across the political spectrum, including UMP member Jean-Marc Roubaud who said, "Bullfighting is an anachronism. In an already extremely violent world, simply adding to the brutality is shameful". 

You Can Help

Please ask the Prime Minister and the Cultural Minister of France to withdraw bullfighting from consideration as a cultural heritage.

See the following letter in English

Send this message to:
François Fillon
Frédéric Mitterrand

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