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Bullfighting is one of the many tourist attractions in Spain. Millions of people attend the “corrida de toros” each year, bringing in lots of money to keep the bull rings open. Although the fighting of bulls is considered part of the Spanish culture, this blood spectacle is cruel and disturbing. Bullfighting dates back to 711 A. D. The first bullfight took place for the crowning of King Alfonso VIII. The fights were originally fought on horseback and eventually developed to dodging bulls on foot. Today the practice involves three toreros who fight two bulls.

The bulls are at least four years old and weigh from 460-600 kg. The toreros wear a traditional costume consisting of a silk jacket, tight trousers and a montera (hat). There are three stages to the fight, each starting with the sound of a trumpet. When the bull enters the ring, the torero use special maneuvers or passes with a bright yellow and red cape. Men on horses stab the bulls with long spears to further tire the bulls. By the third stage, banderillas (barbed sticks) are thrust between the bull’s shoulders to lower the head.

A sword is used to sever the main artery near the heart and finish off the bull Although bullfighting is part of the Spanish culture, the cruelty of these animals takes the sport too far. The pre-fight treatment is just as sickening as the slaughter at the end of a fight. Vaseline is rubbed into the bull’s eyes to blur his vision and cotton is stuffed up the nostrils to cut off respiration. Wet newspaper is stuffed down their ears to block their hearing. Then, a caustic solution is rubbed onto the legs to keep the bull from lying down.

The bulls are kept in a dark box until the fight so they enter the ring disorientated yet willingly, not knowing they are about to be killed. During the fight, the bulls are taunted and stabbed, leaving them to bleed severely. The final stab of the sword takes two or three times, puncturing the lungs and heart so the bull vomits blood. When the bull finally gives up and lies down to die, his ears and tail are cut off. Mules drag the bull’s body away with chains to be skinned even when they are not fully dead. Bulls are not the only animals being tortured during the fights. Horses die long deaths from being gored over and over by the bulls.

They are blindfolded and shaking while entering the ring, knowing all too well what is about to happen. After being wounded, they are given surgery and forced back into training again. The horse’s vocal chords are cut so they cannot scream in pain while slowly dying. In this civilized age, why are so many innocent animals being forced to endure this painful way of life? This barbaric sport should be banned without question. It seems impossible for anyone to possibly enjoy watching an animal be tortured the way they are. Organizations are attempting to put a stop to bullfighting and hopefully one day they will succeed.

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