Bullfighting, once a nationally celebrated Spanish tradition, is dying. According to Humane Society International, more than 70 percent of the Spanish public disapproves of the public bloodbath. With attendance dwindling, tourists now make up the main portion of the audience.

In the latest blow to this already struggling industry, Madrid city hall has decided to end a $66,000 subsidy for the matador school Marcial Lalanda Academy, casting a gray cloud over the institution’s future. A decrease in funding signals that the decline of bullfighting in Spain is a trend that will continue to spiral downward.

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This isn’t just good news for bulls, but for humans too. In 2013, about 50 matadors were injured in bullfighting events including 31 matadors who received horn wounds. However, it is important to keep in mind that while a human makes a choice to take part in this dangerous “sport,” the bull does not and is always killed in the end. Approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights each year, according to the Humane Society International.

An End to a Cruel and Unnecessary Industry?

A bullfighting event usually includes three parts in which bulls are subjected to agonizing pain including being pierced in the neck with a barbed lance, stabbed in the shoulders with spears and having a sword driven between the shoulders, injuring its lungs and causing a slow, painful death.

There is a huge misconception that bulls used for fighting are aggressive, angry animals. Bulls are naturally docile animals. However, when they are locked into tiny boxes where they are beaten, starved, and sometimes drugged in preparation, they are naturally defensive, just as any human would be.

Bullfighting is already banned parts of Spain, including the Catalonia region. Internationally, bullfighting has been outlawed as well in Argentina, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Italy, and the United Kingdom. As more and more people become informed about the cruelty behind these shows, fewer crowds are attending and the lack of profit is now driving down government support.

While locals are beginning to understand the cruelty behind this form of “entertainment” and have largely led the movement against bullfighting, tourists are the driving force behind the shows. Share this article to help raise awareness and end bullfighting for good!

Image source: Nathan Rupert/Flickr