Lifestyle & Belief

Spain: Live bullfights return to Spanish television screens


Spanish matador Alejandro Talavante in action at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona on July 13, 2012.

Live bullfights returned to Spanish television screens on Wednesday for the first time in six years.

State broadcaster Television Espanola broadcast the corrida, as it is known in Spanish, in the northern city of Valladolid after conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy lifted a ban, the BBC reported.

Wednesday's bullfight featured star matadors "El Juli" Julian Lopez Escobar, Jose Maria Manzanares and Alejandro Talavante.

"This is a great day for bullfighting," "El Juli" was quoted as saying. 

"Television reaches every house in Spain. The future lies in bringing bullfighting to young people and the entire world. You can do a lot with television."

The Independent said the broadcasts could boost the chances of survival for bullfighting in Spain, where the sport has been declining in popularity.

Catalonia banned the spectacle in January and it was outlawed in the Canary Islands in 1991.

Since 2007 the number of bullfights in Spain has fallen by a third, and by 50 per cent in its heartland of Andalusia.

Agence France-Presse said animal rights activist group PACMA had vowed to challenge the broadcasts on the grounds that the television station was “breaching a self-regulatory code on television content for children.”

"For PACMA, bullfights are a spectacle in which spectators see the agony and death of a bleeding animal, real animal abuse. This content can in no way be proper to show in children's time."

More from GlobalPost: Spanish bullfighting under fire



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