It is shocking that in the modern world, the barbaric sport of bullfighting is still considered “entertainment.” Thankfully, many people no longer see it that way and as a result, the industry is slowly dying. Last year, Madrid dealt a huge blow to the industry by ending the $66,000 subsidy that fueled a matador school Marical Lalanda Academy. More recently, Colombia moved to bring back bullfighting for the first time in four years, but thanks to massive protests it was decided that the sport may violate laws regarding the mistreatment of animals. Unfortunately, even though the times are changing, bullfighting still happens, and although most understand the suffering a bull endures in this cruel gladiatorial sport, many are unaware of what the horses go through.
Horses in bullfights are often older animals who are sold to the industry after serving their whole lives, either as racehorses or in other industries. Although horses are given protective covering known as a “peto,” which resembles a poncho, it does little to guard them from being gored by bulls.
Another shocking practice is that just before entering the arena, horses are blindfolded and have their nose and ears stuffed with cotton and Vaseline to deprive them of their senses so they cannot react in fear of a charging bull. To take the cruelty a step further, some horses even have their vocal cords removed so they cannot cry out in fear or pain.
Although bullfighting is considered to be part of tradition in many cultures, the fact that something has been done for hundred of years says nothing about whether or not it is ethical. Not only does bullfighting end tragically for bulls who are killed at the end of the fight, the horses in the industry are never given the opportunity to live the life of peace they deserve.
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