Archive for International

Traveller’s Tales: For whom the bull bellows

An interesting take on the current state of the bullfighting industry, from the South African newspaper, The Times.

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Donkey Basketball

Our members and supporters often contact us to ask why we aren’t doing something about cruel ‘sports’ around the world. They send us links, photographs, newspaper cuttings and magazine articles.

The truth is that we can’t do everything, and with the current threat to the Hunting Act, we need to direct considerable resources at that campaign. But we can always highlight them here on the blog.

‘Donkey Basketball’ appears to be increasing in popularity in the US, and PETA have a campaign against it. It sounds very odd to us, and the animal cruelty is undeniable.

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Repeal of the Hunting Act brings back Hare Coursing

We’re posting a film from Hunt Saboteurs in Ireland, showing the realities of hare coursing. This becomes legal again if the Hunting Act is repealed, and shows why we must Keep Cruelty History.

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Scandal in the Catalan Parliament

The League has been made aware of a scandalous attempt by the French pro-bullfighting lobby to influence the upcoming vote in the Catalan parliament on whether or not to outlaw bullfighting in the region.

In a sly and insidious letter to all members of the Catalan parliament at the beginning of the debating session in March, a group of French politicians attempted to influence their Catalan counterparts with warnings of repressive laws and the loss of traditions and national identity. Aside from the fact that they were meddling in affairs beyond their sphere of national influence, the letter contained a FALSIFIED list of alleged bullfighting supporters. This list included: mayors who are no longer mayors, mayors nobody has ever heard of, members of parliament who signed the document after their death or after they ceased to be members of parliament, and politicians who are against bullfighting.

Numerous attempts to expose this scandal (including a press release from Jean-Marc Roubaud, a member of the French parliament who is well-known for being anti-bullfighting but was included on the list) have been unsuccessful, as newspapers are refusing to respond.

With the vote on whether to outlaw bullfighting in Catalonia taking place in the next few months, the League is supporting its European counterparts in exposing this scandal and working towards a decisive ‘Yes’ vote. The vast majority of Catalans are opposed to bullfighting and it is absolutely imperative that the democratic process is not derailed by subversion and lies.

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Wildlife crime officer wins international accolade

It was announced at the 15th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties in Doha, Qatar, last week, that National Wildlife Crime Unit investigator Andy McWilliam (formerly Wildlife Crime Officer with Merseyside Police) has won the Clark R. Bavin Award. For several years, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), a non-governmental organisation based in the United States, has presented awards to persons who have engaged in one or more exemplary law enforcement actions to protect species of wildlife listed in the Appendices of the Convention. The issuance of these awards has been undertaken in cooperation with the Species Survival Network, an international coalition of over eighty non-governmental organisations, including AWI. The awards, named after a former chief of the law enforcement division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have traditionally been presented by the Secretary-General of CITES during meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

Apart from his CITES work, Andy has worked tirelessly over the years to bring to justice people who have persecuted and abused birds and animals in the UK and this award is very richly deserved. Congratulations to Andy!

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Image of the Day – 115

It’s quite surprising that companies such as Corona are willing to sponsor this depravity.

This year we’ll be stepping up our Corporate Watch campaign to target those travel companies and agencies that promote bullfighting.

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Stop the Calderon Dolphin slaughter

Every year in the Faroe Islands, around 2,000 dolphins are slaughtered for their flesh, and as a “heroic” passage into manhood. These beautiful creatures are stabbed a number of times before being left to bleed to death in what must be excruciating pain.  Undercover video has shown that some animals take up to an hour to finally die after being hauled onto the beach and cut into.

Furthermore, young children are allowed to participate in these disturbing mass hunts. What hope can we have that they will grow up with a respect for animal welfare?

You can sign this petition to put pressure on the governments of Denmark and the Faroe Islands to end this barbaric and outdated tradition.

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Image of the Day – 95

Today’s image is from our trip to the Fuenjirola Novilada almost three years ago. The senseless cruelty of bullfighting is what solidifies the massive support we have in this country and across Western Europe for it to be brought to an end.

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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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There must be logic there somewhere…

We are surprised to learn that the Associação dos Amigos dos Animais de Vila Franca de Xira in Portugal are planning a charity bullfight. We think it’s odd to try and raise money from bloodsports, no matter who the beneficiary of the fundraising. But this particular case is even more extraordinary when once considers that the Associação dos Amigos dos Animais de Vila Franca de Xira is actually a shelter for rehoming animals. Yes! It translates as the Association of Friends of Animals.

It might be a cliché, but with friends like these

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