Spaniards protest against bullfighting

Tens of thousands have protested in Madrid, calling for an end to Spain's centuries-old bullfighting tradition and stronger animal protection laws.

Tens of thousands of people have rallied in Madrid for a nationwide ban on bullfighting in Spain.

Protesters also demanded the removal of all spectacles involving bulls from the national cultural heritage register, the end of the support of such events using taxpayer money, and stronger animal protection laws.

More than 40,000 people took part in the demonstration, according to organisers from the activists' group Tauromaquia Es Violencia or TeV (Bullfighting is Violence).

On central Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, around 500 activists broke bullfighter lances that released a cloud of red powder to symbolise the blood of the 20,000 bulls that are killed each year in Spain during events that often have a centuries-long history.

Protesters carried placards with phrases such as, "Bullfighting: National Disgrace".

"It is backwards that, in the 21st century, animals are still being tortured for fun and that it's being financed with public money," Laura Gonzalo, a spokeswoman for TeV, told the Spanish news agency Europa Press.

Spain's conservative government reduced the value-added tax for bullfighting to 10 per cent in 2017. The tradition of bullfighting was declared a "national cultural heritage" in 2013 and can therefore be supported with public funding.

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