Should you believe a minister responsible for bullfighting when she says it is a “terrible sport”? Or is it just a PR stunt to win over voters? I would say, it doesn’t matter as long as bullfighting ceases to exist.
Peru’s minister of culture, Susana Baca, who only took office at the end of July, stated that she is not in favour of bullfighting and that ‘it can cause excessive suffering to animals’.
She said: “I’ve never been to a bullfight but from the little I’ve seen in the media, I know it’s terrible and I had to close my eyes,” she told Buenos Dias, Peru.
This statement must be a huge encouragement for activists who have campaigned tirelessly for an end to bullfighting in their country.
A ban would be a milestone for the young anti-bullfighting movement in Peru which, unlike their fellow activist in Europe, has only been around for a couple of years. Organisations have gained popularity in recent years and groups such as Perú Antitaurino now has 2,000 activists compared to 100 in 2004.
Instead of just protesting in front of bull rings Perú Antitaurino has set itself an ambitious goal. The organisation calls for a change in the animal welfare law to withdraw the exemption which currently applies to bullfighting (as well as cock fighting). That would automatically make bullfighting illegal.
Despite all the good news there has, however, not been a decision yet and it will be an uphill struggle for Peruvian anti-taurinos. As you would expect, they face fierce opposition from matadors and bullfighting enthusiasts.
Referring to the Spanish decision to declare bullfighting a cultural product and artistic discipline matador earlier this month matador Fernando Roca Rey said that the spectacle should be recognised as a cultural event and is convinced that minister Baca does not speak for the whole of the country.
There is, however, very strong support for the minister: 80 percent of Lima’s citizens oppose bullfighting. Although the poll was conducted in the capital and a surrounding province, pollsters said that the result represented the opionon in the whole of Peru.