Wednesday, March 19, 2008
-Each year, more than 40,000 bulls are barbarically slaughtered in Spain’s bullrings.
-One of the biggest supporters of bullfighting is the tourist industry.
-Bulls are intentionally debilitated by various means, such as having sandbags dropped on their backs.
-Drugging is also very common. A study conducted by scientists at Spain’s Salamanca University found that 20 per cent of the bulls used for fighting are drugged before they step into the ring.
-Another common practice is to “shave” bulls’ horns by sawing off a few inches. Bulls’ horns, like cats’ whiskers, help the animals navigate, so a sudden change impairs their coordination. Shaving is illegal, so the horns are sometimes inspected by a veterinarian after a fight. In 1997, the Confederation of Bullfighting Professionals – which includes Spain’s 230 matadors – went on strike in opposition to these veterinary inspections.
-Petroleum jelly is sometimes rubbed into his eyes in order to alter his ability to judge distance.
-If the crowd is happy with the matador, the bull’s ears and tail are cut off and presented as a trophy.
-Bulls aren’t the only victims in bullfights. Horses used in bullfights are blindfolded and sometimes have wads of newspaper stuffed in their ears so that they don’t become scared by the charging bull or the noise of the crowd.
-They are often gored as the terrified bulls try to protect themselves. Each year, approximately 200 horses are killed in bullrings around the world.
What Actually Happens in the Ring :
In a typical bullfight, the bull enters the arena and is approached by picadors – men on blindfolded horses who drive lances into the bull’s back and neck muscles. This impairs the bull’s ability to lift his head. They twist and gouge the lances to ensure a significant amount of blood loss. Then banderilleros enter on foot and proceed to distract the bull and dart around him while plunging banderillas – bright sticks with harpoon points on their ends – into his back.6 When the bull has become weakened from blood loss, the banderilleros run the bull in more circles until he is dizzy and stops chasing. Finally, the matador appears and, after provoking a few exhausted charges from the dying animal, tries to kill the bull with his sword.7 If he misses, succeeding only in further mutilating the animal, an executioner is called in to stab the exhausted and submissive animal to death. The dagger is supposed to cut the animal’s spinal cord, but even this can be blundered, leaving the bull conscious but paralysed as he is chained by his horns and dragged out of the arena.