Mexico City moves to ban bullfighting

By on October 17, 2018 with 30 Comments

Bullfighting, even when it masquerades as celebration or tradition, is nothing more that the most egregious cruelty to animals. Frightened bulls are forced into an arena with screaming people, pitted against matadors wielding spears, and then stabbed multiple times before they die a slow, agonizing death. It is estimated that about 250,000 bulls are killed each year in bullfights around the world.

Spain first pops to mind when one mentions bullfighting, but this cruel “sport” has a long history and is well established in many countries, including – much closer to home – Mexico. The world’s largest bullfighting arena is in Mexico City, and each year, dozens of these spectacles are staged in front of Mexican audiences, including children.

That could change soon, however, because of a new bill introduced earlier this month in the Mexico City Congress by Congresswoman Leticia Varela and the local animal organization Frente Ciudadano Pro Derecho Animal. The bill amends Mexico City’s Public Spectacles and Animal Protection bills to ban any spectacle involving animal abuse and killing, including bullfighting and cockfighting, and it was quickly endorsed by three major parties in the local Congress. Humane Society International/Mexico was at the introduction ceremony to endorse the bill, and we will be campaigning, along with other groups, all the way for its passage.

HSI has been working against bullfighting in Mexico for many years now. Our campaign set off a vital debate over bullfighting in public and political platforms in Mexico, leading both to growing opposition and paving the road for a proposal to ban it. In 2013, Sonora became the first Mexican state to ban bullfights. The states of Guerrero and Coahuila followed in 2014 and 2015, respectively. HSI is also working to end the broadcasting of bullfighting shows on Mexican public television.

According to Parametría, a leading polling agency, 73 percent of Mexicans support a nationwide ban on bullfighting.

We are hopeful about the ban in Mexico City because the city’s new constitution adopted last year recognized animals as sentient beings and paved the way for ending animal cruelty in public spectacles. HSI/Mexico was heavily involved in crafting the animal protection language enshrined in the new constitution.

Mexico City lawmakers are also taking heed of a United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child report in 2015 that specifically pinpointed the damage caused to children by the cruelty of sports like bullfighting. The committee highlighted its concern about “the physical and mental well-being of children involved in the training of bullfighting, and performances associated with it, as well as the mental and emotional well-being of child spectators who are exposed to the violence of bullfighting.” It urged Mexico to ban the participation of children in bullfighting training and performances, take measures to protect them in their capacity as spectators, and raise awareness of the physical and mental violence associated with bullfighting and its impact on children.

Even in Spain, citizens are increasingly rejecting the violence of bullfighting and other spectacles involving animal cruelty, and between 2011 and 2015, there was a 25 percent decline in the number of bull fiestas there.

As the new bill moves through the Mexico City Congress, HSI will be at the forefront. We have had some impressive wins worldwide when we have taken on animal cruelty masked as tradition, including in Mexico, where we successfully worked to end the cruel Kots Kaal Pato festival and ban dogfighting nationwide. With a growing tide of public opinion on our side, we can do so again.

Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Sylvia Lewis says:

    Decades ago I found myself living and working in Mexico City for one year. Of a sign of generosity, my friends took me to the Bullfights. Not ever having seen such an event in person, I was so horrified..actually traumatized upon witnessing that “sport’ /’art’ display amidst many thousands of knowledgeable fans, and I never got over the revulsion of that custom which I thought to be barbaric.
    I’ve held the same distaste for Bullfights ever since although I tried to accept the fact that is is an important part of the Spanish/Mexican cultures. Reading that Mexico City is considering banning the Bullfights is so thrilling to me…I shrieked with joy at the news which I never thought would occur. I hope they actually bring it about and that the importance of that decision to stop the hideous practice spreads throughout the Latin nations all over the world. That would be a GREAT day!

  2. Diane Ficke says:!

  3. Mary Margaret Steele says:

    This is a gruesome tradition. I can’t even begin to see the appeal in this sport. The minds of these spectators are as scary as any Halloween mask.

    Bullfights and rodeos just need to end.

    • Gavin Phillips says:

      Shut up it’s a tradition, we celebrate thanksgiving and no one talks about the tradition,do they?

      • Adrien says:

        No, lol, because thanksgiving isn’t required to kill something gruesomely. As a vegetarian, I celebrate with everything but the meat.

        So stfu

      • Mary Margaret Steele. says:

        Shut up? You lead an argument like a five year old.

        I celebrate Thanksgiving without meat. I also feel, Gavin, the slaughter of turkeys is also disgusting.

      • Natalie santos says:

        No ignorant mexico concert first country violence we don’t need more this kinda culture show torture , violence sadistic and violence u are so ignorant and heartless and support this kinda tradición cruelty

      • Mario Fret says:

        Damn right!

      • Robert Koeck says:

        So being a tradition irradiates all wrong doing? You’re an idiot if you equate bullfighting to Thanksgiving.

      • Phyllis Davgin says:

        We don’t torture the turkeys for fun and entertainment before we kill them.
        A culture is judged by the way they treat their animals.

  4. Tina says:

    This needs to Stop period!

  5. Paulette Riou says:

    Doing this to any sentient being shows such horrible disregard for the fear and pain the bull goes through that it just has to show up in other aspects of the perpetrator’s life. Shutting this down helps so much more than the bulls.

  6. Dolores Mikulicin says:

    Ban this!! Cruel, torture, insane!!!

  7. Susanne andhager says:

    Bad karma to this cruel people

  8. Marissa says:

    How can any NORMAL person think this is Entertainment? You watch a Animal suffer and Die. More so how can anyone PAY to watch this, NOT CULTURE….NOT TRADITION just Cruel

  9. Cherie L Preston says:

    do we need a petition to help convince anyone that this is a cruel exhibition of animal cruelty and blind folding the horses and letting them be gourd is just as bad. This is not a sport but a sick display ..

  10. rita battaglia says:

    Bull fighting must be stopped for good. How can humans treat an animal this way by torturing and killing the bull.

  11. Hazel Pain says:

    Thank goodness, the sooner the better.

  12. Zaher Naoum says:

    Stop the barbaric murder of innocent bulls , be kind to animals .

  13. Dana Keefe says:

    Thank you sincerely for the continuing efforts by HSUS regarding bull fighting, dog fighting, and any other animal fighting in the world.
    I am crying as I write this. I know the USA is not without fault.

  14. Terri Dugan says:

    Ban this act. Unless you want the bulls to have weapons and the bull fighters are killed at the end just like the bulls. It has to be a fair fight.

  15. Fred Mertz says:

    What a bunch of whining sissies!

    • D'Arc Kingham says:

      I think “man” should rise above this hideous display. It is not a “fight” as the bull is drained and exhausted in the heat and is outnumbered. The bull NEVER wins and it is a premature death. Sick brains and exposing it to children does not do anything but lead to more cruelty. Some attempt in the schools is to teach children respect for God’s creatures. Long overdue.

  16. rachel says:

    Great Mexico! Ban bullfighting for good. I will now come and visit.

    • Angela Taite says:

      It’s so sad that we as humans have to always see animals suffer and be tortured for what we call entertainment, it’s time we realize that this is wrong, and give the bulls the respect they deserve!! Shame on you bullfighters haven’t you killed enough!

  17. Angela Taite says:

    It’s so sad that we as humans have to always see animals suffer and be tortured for what we call entertainment, it’s time we realize that this is wrong, and give the bulls the respect they deserve!! Shame on you bullfighters haven’t you killed enough!

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