Spanish town cancels bullfight so money can be spent on books instead

The local government said that it doesn't have a problem with bullfighting but that the money would be better spent on helping children access school books

Siobhan Fenton
Tuesday 28 July 2015 15:20 BST
Participants run in front of Miura's bulls during the last 'encierro' (bull-run) of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 14
Participants run in front of Miura's bulls during the last 'encierro' (bull-run) of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 14 (ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images)

A Spanish town has decided to ditch its annual bullfighting festival so that it can spend the budget on school books instead.

Villafranca de los Caballeros, which has a population of around 5,000 and lies 80 miles south of Madrid, is due to vote on a motion this Thursday. The proposals would see local government direct the €18,000 subsidy towards school supplies for local children instead.

The council, which has a socialist majority, is expected to easily pass the proposal.

The town’s newly elected socialist mayor told The Guardian that the issue was not about taking a stance against bull-fighting but rather about prioritising education amid financial cuts.

“It’s a question of priorities. There is a lot of unemployment in this town and many people simply don’t have money to buy school supplies for their children.

He added: “We’re not against bullfights. But it’s money we can use in other ways.”

Across Spain, around 16,000 fiestas involving bulls take place every year. They remain controversial events in the country, wherein injuries and deaths of spectators and participants are not uncommon.

The most famous of the fiestas is the Pamplona Running of the Bulls which takes place every July. This year over a hundred activists from animal rights group PETA posed semi naked and covered in blood red paint outside the stadium to protest against it.

Last week, in an historic move the Spanish town of Trigueros del Valle voted unanimously to define dogs and cats as “non-human residents”, giving them rights similar to men and women in the area. The decision was welcomed by activists as a monumental moment in the bid for animal rights and “ a great day for humans and non-human citizens alike.”

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