Victory! Bogotá Colombia Bans Bullfighting

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Animal rights councilors Juan Baena and Andrea Padilla co-authored a project to restrict bullfighting in the Colombian capital of Bogotá. 

Working alongside Bogotá’s City Council the two activists were able to end the cities tax money that was being funneled into the heinous spectacle of bullfighting.

Since the entirety of the bullfighting industry relies on public funding to continue, this new action by the City Council essentially ends an industry of animal cruelty once and for all in the city.

Smartly Bogotá has chosen not to hold a “Constitutional Tribunal” on the issue because every time they have done so excuses about the culture and history of bullfighting traditions comes up derailing the very real issue of cruelty.

Bogotá will no longer allow the use of banderillas (A decorated barbed dart that the banderillero thrusts into the neck or shoulders of the bull in a bullfight.), spears, and swords.

A set of banderillas that are stabbed into the bull and left hanging to create a bloody spectacle for the audience.

This means there will no longer be any bloodshed or killing and those fans of bullfighting who enjoy the sadistic spectacle of a bleeding and suffering animal will no longer attend this so-called sport.

While this will not completely end the animal cruelty and abuse co-author Councilor Andrea Padilla says it will limit it.

“During the journey from the pasture to the arena, a bull can lose up to 30 kilos of weight from stress. Just appearing at the plaza is very exhausting.

Which is why we can’t say there are ‘bloodless’ bullfights, as they have been traditionally called, but bullfights ‘with no bloodshed,’ would be much better,” claimed City Councilor Alianza Verde.

While this is a victory for the cruel “sport” of bullfighting it doesn’t mean that there is no more bloodshed or suffering for the bulls.

In the end, after the fight is done the bulls will still be killed just not inside of the ring for all to see.

The bulls will also still undergo horrors like their horns being shaved down to throw off their sense of balance in a fight.

They will still be kept afraid in total darkness days before a fight to further disorient and confuse them in addition to a stressful transport where they often lose up to 30 kilograms of weight.

Since there will no longer be any financial incentives from both the loss of spectators not getting to see matadors stabbing bulls with weapons and the city no longer covering expenses with public funds the industry is essentially banned.

Now, when someone wants to organize a bullfight in Bogotá they will have to cover all operating expenses on top of a new tax of 20%.

An undisclosed amount of the new tax will go to support the Institute of Animal Welfare and Protection in Colombia.

“Not a single peso will go toward bullfights,” said Claudia López in one of her first statements after being elected Mayor of Bogotá, affirming her anti-bullfighting stance.

Thanks to these new reforms bullfighting organizers will have to pay out their own money to not only put on shows but also to help pay to educate the public about how abusive bullfighting is thanks to the 20% tax.

The city used a similar tactic when taking on the tobacco industry. They required graphic imagery on cigarette packaging that shows the health effects on smokers’ lungs along with 30% of their advertising going to inform the public of tobacco’s dangers.

“Animals are individuals with rights, and they deserve all our protection and respect,” as councilor Juan Baena said.

Bogotá’s City Council also reduced their “fiestas” (celebrations) from eight a year down to just four, now three of which will occur in January and February and the fourth will be held in August.

Shortening the amount of city “fiestas” was done to give bullfighting organizers less time to plan and makes them compete against other events.

This new ban on bullfighting isn’t without its legal hurdles as Padilla expressed in the Constitutional Court saying:

“We can’t wait for Congress to ban bullfights, because it can be a paralyzing entity. The Council has reached the bold decision of restricting animal abuse, and Bogotá is ready for this,” said Councilor Padilla.

Bullfighting is quickly becoming a thing of the past and while opposition against it is growing by the day there is still a lot of work to do around the world.

Bogotá’s City Council took a huge and historical leap forward but don’t let this victory stop you from supporting other campaigns in countries like Spain where Movistar Plus a media company wants to do a pay-per-view style broadcast showing its cruel torture and eventual murder of bulls.

Sign this petition and help Peta reach 50,000 signatures so they can try to block the proposal to murder 576 innocent bulls.

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Brandon Kirkwood

Animal Rights Activist (ARA), Vegan, Creator and editor of Vegan News, Father to an awesome cat named Boba, Youtuber

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