Llamada contra corridas en España

Spanish demonstration against bullfighting

A small demonstration of about 1,000 people has taken place in Madrid to call for an end to bullfighting in Spain. Many see bullfighting as extremely cruel, while others see it as an important part of Spanish culture.

Reporter: Sean Fanning

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Carrying banners reading 'Abolish bullfighting' and comments disparaging bullfighters, the coalition of animal rights activists and ecologists gathered in Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square. The Madrid regional government's decision to officially declare the sport part of Spain's cultural heritage has intensified opposition:

Male protestor (voice of translator): "I feel very ashamed. I feel ashamed of being Spanish when I hear of these crimes, and people say this torture is culture. For me it is savage, more appropriate to other centuries."

The centuries-old spectacle, whose ritual includes implanting barbed sticks into the bull before a matador kills it with a sword, draws thousands to the country's bullrings and matadors receive celebrity media coverage. Many Spaniards reject accusations of cruelty:

Madrid resident (in Spanish)

This Madrid resident insists those who want to watch bullfighting should be allowed to continue doing so as it's part of the nation's culture.

But support for bullfighting varies across the country, with parliament in the autonomous Catalan region recently debating a possible ban, and a vote there on the issue is expected soon.

In Spain's Canary Islands, the sport is already outlawed.

Sean Fanning, BBC News

Listen to the words

banners pancartas

disparaging(comentarios que) desacreditaban / criticaban

a coalition una coalición

ecologistsecologistas

ashamedavergonzado

the centuries-old spectacleel espectáculo que se lleva a cabo durante siglos

implanting el apuñalar / introducir en forma violenta

a matador un torero

bullringsplazas de toros

autonomousautónoma