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Should Spain Ban Bullfighting?

Lexile: 950L Publication: Junior Scholastic(5/9/2011) Author: RAFTERY, LIAMTIZNADO, LUIS

NEWS DEBATE For centuries, the Spanish tradition of the bullfight has been seen as a heroic contest between man and beast. Yet some Spaniards object to what they consider cruelty to the bulls. Last year, in response to such objections, the Spanish region of Catalonia outlawed bullfights. And in January, Spain's stateowned TV network announced that it would no longer broadcast them. The bans have intensified the debate over what many Spaniards see as a central part of their culture and heritage. Each year in Spain and other countries, tens of thousands of bulls are maimed, tortured, and killed for entertainment. Thousands of horses, used as a part of the bullfighting spectacle, are also killed or injured. In a typical bullfight, the animal is attacked by men on foot and on horseback with spears and barbed sticks. The matador forces the confused and exhausted bull to make a few charges, and eventually tries to kill it with a sword. If not killed outright, the animal is stabbed repeatedly until it is paralyzed. When the bull finally collapses, its spinal cord is cut. But the animal may still be conscious as its ears and tail are cut off as trophies. Further cruelty takes place away from public view. Bulls are often weakened or drugged before a fight, or have Vaseline smeared in their eyes. A bull's horns may also be shaved before a fight, making them extremely sensitive to pain. A bullfight is never a fair fight. The bull suffers immensely -- in the name of human entertainment. It's time this cruel and outdated "sport" was banned. - LIAM RAFTERY LEAGUE AGAINST CRUEL SPORTS, UNITED KINGDOM Bullfighting is one of Spain's most popular and well-known customs. Along with eating paella [a dish of rice, meat, seafood, and vegetables] and drinking sangria, watching a bullfight is a must for anyone visiting Spain.

In Spanish and other Latin cultures, bullfighting is a beloved fiesta. It's an art form that is intimately tied to our history and culture. This heritage is evident in the colorfully embroidered costumes of the matador and the majesty of the fierce animals. The matador must have considerable skill and discipline to both protect his life and entertain spectators in the arena. The corrida de toros (bullfight] symbolizes many things: mortality, the clash of man and beast, and bravery, as the matador risks his life in a contest of wills. For these and other reasons, bullfighting should be protected. It has been passed from generation to generation, and tourists can learn much about Spain's culture by witnessing this operatic spectacle. I'll never forget the first corrida de toros I saw in Toledo, Spain. It was one of the most riveting experiences of my life. -- LUIS TIZNADO BULLFIGHTING FAN, CHILE Should Spain ban bullfighting? VOTE ONLINE AT WWW.SCH0LASTIC.COM/JS By LIAM RAFTERY, LEAGUE AGAINST CRUEL SPORTS, UNITED KINGDOM and LUIS TIZNADO, BULLFIGHTING FAN, CHILE