Spain is complicit in child neglect by allowing child matadors

The League has described as “reckless beyond belief” an event due to take place later today in Spain in which a child matador will take on up to six bulls in one day.

Eleven stone Jairo Miguel Sanchez Alonso will tackle the six live animals in a spectacle in his home town of Cáceres in Extremadura, western Spain. Two years ago the boy was gored and seriously injured during a bullfight in Mexico.

At sixteen, Jairo is a child under the terms of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Spain is a signatory. Most western countries restrict employment of sixteen and seventeen year-olds to stop them working in dangerous situations.

Condemning the Spanish government for continuing to allow children to take part in such bloodsports, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sport, Douglas Batchelor, said:

“The bullfight is an abomination and an embarrassment both to Spain and to Europe as a whole, and we all know that. But to allow a boy to fight a bull eight times his weight, when he’s not old enough to marry or drive, is tantamount to neglect.”

“As a signatory to the UK Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires countries to protect children and their right to life, Spain has a responsibility to stop Jairo from entering the bullring later today. If they don’t take decisive action, then Prime Minister Zapatero and his ministers are complicit in child neglect,” he said.

Later this month, in the Catalonian region of Spain, the regional Parliament is due to consider a petition calling for a complete ban on the sport. The petition had been signed by over 180,000 people.

Find our more about our bullfighting campaign.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Sir Mark Prescott, one of the leading lights in hare coursing along with Ms. Clarissa Dickson Wright, is said also to approve of bull fighting. Well, anybody who has read about ‘the little white horse’ in Sir Alfred Munnings’s autobiography would never give his approbation to bull fighting, but perhaps Sir Mark hasn’t read Munnings. These people have a cruel and nasty streak in them and I don’t like it.

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